Our Top 10 letters

Did yours make the cut?

Editor's Note: We love letters — whether they're congratulating us, excoriating us or shedding additional light on a story. E-mails, Web posts and the increasingly rare handwritten note suggest that something we wrote connected strongly enough that readers were compelled to tell us how they felt.

And this year, we heard a lot about how readers felt. Choosing just 10 letters as the year's best would be impossible; think of the following excerpts as a representation of what attracted the most passionate mail of 2006.

1. Don't Trash the Cash

Eric Snider: Putting Johnny Cash at the top of your list confirms what I've always suspected of you, that you're a gutless, soulless fuck who doesn't get it ...

Your pal, Johnny Zoom

Among the many apoplectic responses to our "Overrated" cover (11/22), Zoom's rant was in a class by itself.

2. The Cycle of Revenge

Anne Arsenault said, "I say we abide by the time-honored American tradition of whoever's more powerful wins. Car trumps bike, so please — get out of the way." Following her logic: gun trumps car, get out of my way!

Lance Armstrong

Everyone, and we do mean everyone, chimed in to protest Arsenault's road rage (3/22).

3. Not With MySpace You Don't

Alex, you ignorant slut! Something tells me that had you been born in the 18th century, you'd be denouncing the virtues of the carrier pigeon. ... I also enjoy writing self-gratifying diatribes on things I don't much enjoy, complete with sarcasm-infused and hyperbolic inaccuracies, but in reply to your editorial, in the manner that I've always responded to critics of this beautiful, and yes, ubiquitous site, "MySpace is what you make of it. Soon you will join and when you do, when all the photos are tallied, you, my friend, will be first against the wall."

James Watts, St. Petersburg

"MySpace, My Ass," my goodness. Alex Pickett's story (8/2) got people worked up, and Mr. Watts waxed more eloquent than most.

4. Something's Happening at the Zoo

Working with people who love animals can be challenging, because they are constantly looking for ways to make the animals' lives better...

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

The accusations flew before and after Alex Pickett's story on the Lowry Park Zoo, "Endangered Species" (10/25). But the measured response of Baskin, whose organization now employs two of the so-called "disgruntled former employees" of the Lowry Park Zoo, got to the heart of the matter.

5. Incredible, Hulk

Your recent and blatant attack on Terry "Hulk" Hogan was a shameful display of negligent journalism. I weep at night knowing that real American heroes like the Hulkster are pinned up and degraded in a manner that completely disregards the sacrifices and services that they offer our great country. Your writers need to be schooled in the rich history and culture that surrounds Professional Wrestling and Sports Entertainment. Your Leslie Mattern and your Wayne Garcia could stand to take a few pointers from some of the greats. They could try withstanding Sergeant Slaughter's merciless Cobra Clutch, or try taking a body slam from Andre the Giant. They can tap-out to the grueling pain of Chris Benoit's Crippler Cross-Face, or even let The Rock lay the Smackdown on their rudy-poo candy asses. People like Leslie and Wayne disgust me!

So whatcha gonna do, Leslie Mattern; watcha gonna do, Wayne Garcia, when HULKAMANIA RUNS WILD OVER YOU!

Matthew

Hulk Hogan mostly got scolded by our readers after the publication of Garcia and Mattern's "Body Slammed" (6/21). But letter-writer Matthew remained a steadfast fan ... we think.

6. Weekly Plan... er, Creative Loafing

Bottom line: I don't much care what you call it; just keep the content, including Mr. Reagle's crosswords.

Art Nordlinger

Opinions varied on this year's name change. We liked Mr. Nordlinger's.

7. Must Do This?

Have an appointment with a faculty person at USF, arrive three hours early at campus, buy the $3 parking permit, head for the spaces suggested by the attendant in the booth, use the time searching for an empty visitors parking place, leave after three and a half hours, phone your appointment to express frustration and hear, "Oh yeah, we get a lot of that."

Mortimer Brown, Lutz

Readers suggested plenty of additions to our "Must-Do List" (5/31). Mr. Brown's was, well, unique.

8. Divided We Stand

I have never been inclined to write a letter to any publication, (especially not this rag), mostly because you are all amateur, zero-minded idiots. Normally, I would flip past your editorials without even the slightest interest, knowing you couldn't possibly have anything remotely valuable to say. Boy, I should have stuck with that ritual! You are a total fucking asswipe! Of all the stupid and worthless subjects for you to write about, you decide to have another go at the fucking race issue HELLOOOO??? Can you beat this pathetic subject into the ground any more?

Anonymous

This letter in response to John Sugg's "Still Divided" (Feb. 1) inadvertently proved John's point.

9. Bouquets and Brickbats

What I like consistently about the Weekly Planet's theater reviews is their literacy and thoroughness.

Marie J. Kilker, Sarasota

I have consistently read Mark Leib's reviews — including those of shows I've been in — for several years, and I find there is frequently an undercurrent of unnecessary hostility.

Staci Backauskas

Thank you, Brian. You are exactly right. ... We as diligent consumers should look for value in dining, like we do when we shop at the mall. To that end we rely on those with the knowledge and expertise and expense accounts to give us some direction. Cheers!

Bruce Insana

Mr. Ries continues to write pessimistic, obtrusive and clearly negative reviews on most restaurants in the Tampa area, large or small, corporate or not.

Ty Rodriguez, Tampa

You can't please all of the people all of the time, as theater and food reviewers Mark Leib and Brian Ries well know. But then again, they ain't tryin' to.

10. Scott

Dude, you rule, I love to read your shit. Every week it is the first thing I read in the Planet, and it has only gotten better. The last few weeks have been flawless. You keep your shit honest and entertaining, and the best thing of all — you are not condescending. You keep it semi-intelligent and loose at the same time, nicely done. I hope to see you around downtown some time. I'll buy you a drink.

Mike

Mike, you should buy Scott a drink; we want to buy him several. As you'll read elsewhere in this issue, this is Scott's last week with Creative Loafing: He's decided to move on to greater challenges and, he hopes, bigger paychecks, to become the killer freelancer and prize-winning novelist we all know he can be. He has contributed so much on so many levels to this paper — a sharp critical acumen, an inimitable writing style, an extraordinarily quick sense of humor — that he'll be very hard to replace. (And, apropos of this column, he got lots of letters.) We will continue to cover the music scene with the same tough love and open mind he always has — but no question about it, we'll miss him. Thanks, Scott — and get Mike to buy you that drink.

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