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The article titled "Hung Out to Dry" by David Ng [cover story, April 16] hits home to me, being an Asian Male Geek. Many of my Asian "brothers" wonder how many years William has set "us" back. But an aspect of Ng's article to which I take exception is where he finds "it strange that these (advocacy) groups have remained silent with regard to Hung, who, unlike [Ms.] Swan or Wong, is a real person and whose cultural impact will be more lasting and potentially harmful." While I'm embarrassed by William Hung, I'm offended by people—who are most likely Caucasian—creating fictional characters who mock us. William can't be blamed for who he is, but you can blame people for creating a mockery of him. Will is enjoying the wealth and fame that come from him being who he is. The creators of "Swan" and "Wong" are capitalizing on characters at the expense of others, and that is where I take offense.
Mr. Ng had a fascinating take on William Hung's strange popularity. Personally, I did not see the racist or stereotyped implications. I just saw someone incredibly untalented undeserving of his popularity. In my opinion, the real slap in the face is to the hundreds of underrated, talented folks who struggle for years, barely making ends meet, growing and perfecting their craft, and attempting to just get their foot in the freaking door. It galls me beyond belief that someone would waste money producing CDs like Hung's. Though I think he will profit from this financially, Hung is only to blame in small part. I blame the music and movie industries so choked with mediocrity to begin with and so enthralled with the quick buck that, instead of promoting artists, they create celebrities. I also blame the general public that allows them to get away with it. Pauly Shore anyone?
Okay, why are people such JACKASSES?!!! So, um yeah, just read the letter from Kriss Riddle [Letters, April 23], who stated there are only three races: White, Black and ORIENTAL!!! Um hello? When are people going to realize the term ORIENTAL is only used to categorize tapestry and Asians such as William Hung. Grrrr, whatever.
Hiromi (Proud to be Representin' Asian Persuasion)
Nick Schou's article ["Wake Up, White People," April 9] quoted Chris Krass stating that "if you are young and white and trying to figure out issues of racial identity, the Klan and the skinheads are the only people that speak to you, and that's some scary, scary stuff." Not true. The European/American Issues Forum, a thoughtful and moderate San Francisco Bay Area civil-rights organization, has been responsibly speaking out for European Americans for the past seven years. Take a look at our website: www.eaif.org.
President, European/American Issues Forum
The editor responds: Louis, as you suggested, I checked out your website. Moderate? Hmmmmmm.
Not to impugn either your august publication or the career of Social Distortion in any way, but don't you think that Andrew Miller is being just a bit hyperbolic when he says Social D "established the pop punk template that more polished outfits such as Green Day and the Offspring would eventually convert into multiplatinum success" ["Channeling Social D," April 9]. Really? I would've thought the Clash did that, if not the Ramones. Hell, if not the bloody Kingsmen.
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Andrew Miller responds: Why stop at the Kingsmen? Without Little Richard's "Good Golly, Miss Molly," there would be no "Pretty Fly for a White Guy." But it's Adam-and-Eve reductionism to trace a diverse genre back to a single source instead of acknowledging the branches on its family tree. The Clash's lineage leads to Rancid, the Ramones spawned Screeching Weasel, and Green Day and the Offspring clearly draw their genetic material from Social Distortion.
In reference to Gustavo Arellano's article "Hell Is Forever" [The County, March 26], I am rather disappointed in your lack of research. I have been a personal friend to Lynne Kramer and her family for 20 years. I have watched her work tirelessly, championing the rights of underprivileged youth and helping them into a higher education. She has spent weekends working on getting special scholarships and attending school functions, and she been invited time and again to personal events from students as though she were part of their family. I have watched her children grow up and even date minorities. So I, as a lesbian, am appalled that you have allowed her to be painted as some kind of racist, homophobic bigot. Perhaps you should have done yourhomework, Mr. Arellano! What you didn't report was that Lynne Kramer has opened up her life (not to mention her personal phone records), taken a lie-detector test and sat through numerous "interviews" with investigators to discount these slanderous allegations. You want to know who would know all of that personal information about "The Valley 3"? Perhaps one of the trio themselves. What you are dealing with is the "Tawana Brawley" of Santa Ana Unified (my opinion, not Lynne's). These are people who would burn a cross on their own lawn. Until you tell both sides of the story, your reporting is shamefully inaccurate. I have always enjoyed your articles in the past, Mr. Arellano, but I will definitely take them all with a grain of—scratch that—a large spoon of salt in the future!