Re: “They Were New Music Lovers Once … And Young,” by Scott Harrell (Sept. 1-7)

Well said/written, and certainly an epidemic in my age group, where the dividing point can be determined by: "What role did punk/new wave/rap music play in your life?" The death of non-homogenous radio and a dinosaur-ish record industry haven't helped, nor have genre-specific musical tastes and artists. (Whenever I'm asked that dreadful question "What kind of music do you play?" — after the ulcer hits and the teeth grind, and before I fumble for a more earnest answer — I gotta reply "outstanding/ blissful/transcendent/great" or something equally modest.) Truth is that I don't get as turned on by what I hear now, and I still listen to lots of older stuff, but it's still exciting to hear someone I've never heard before, regardless of era or genre. It does take more effort with age and time to keep up and seek out good music, and the temptation to blame "the quitters" for lack of support for locals or post-1975/'85/'95 music (depending on one's age) is overwhelming, if nearsighted. Also frustrating is how the quitters won't give new recordings by their cherished bands (especially with more than half of their original members) the time of day. (Granted, some sucks, some of it's great, but at least they're trying ... ) The more things change ...

Bob Anthony

Re: “Are You Better Off Today?” by John F. Sugg (Aug. 25-31, 2004)

Since your stated policy is "to correct all published errors of fact," I feel obligated to point out that Mr. Sugg needs to be corrected due to errors of fact. He states that many European Union (EU) States are more productive than the U.S. The fact is that the U.S. is 10 percent more productive than the EU States and that this trend of U.S. superiority in labor productivity is growing. (Source: "An Analysis of E.U. and U.S. Productivity Developments," by Cecil Dennis, Kieran McMorrow and Werner Roger, July 2004.)

Sugg's article reads like it was written by a "spinmeister" for the Democratic Party. Unfortunately for the truth, he is as dishonest as that party. While I could go on to point out many more false and misleading statements he makes, this letter would be too long for you to publish as written. (I did note that you reserve the right to edit letters that are too long.)

Sugg's underlying theme seems to be that capitalism is bad and socialism is good. The U.S. is a capitalist nation and that has resulted in its citizens having the highest standard of living in the world. The more socialist a nation is, the lower its standard of living. If Sugg thinks that socialism is a better system, he should migrate to one of the socialist countries, preferably the most socialist, Cuba or China.

The answer to Sugg's question: Yes! I, and most U.S. citizens, are better off today than we were the day Bill Clinton left office. (No, I am not a billionaire.)

Arthur M. Richard
St. Petersburg

Re: “Prey for Bargains,” by Scott Harrell (Scene & Herd, Aug. 25-31)

There's only one thing that irritates me more than someone eating dead animals … it's someone poking fun at an animal rights group that tries to protect animals in this crazy world. How does Tampa Bay expect to elevate itself above the Deliverance, roadkill-eating, Bubbaville mentality when the Weekly Planet gives rave reviews to joints like the Linger Lounge?

Thanks for the location, though … I'm sure PETA can organize a protest when the hunter/owner least expects it, compliments of the Weekly Planet!

Louis Kahle
St. Petersburg


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