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Just Joshing, Dave
Was that article for real about banning spandex bike shorts [“Short Story,” Deep End, June 28, City Weekly]?

That could seriously affect my job.
tDave Zabriskie
Team CSC cyclist
Salt Lake City

Art, Schmart
Kudos for the comments on the Arts Festival [“Strange Brew,” June 28, City Weekly].

It is the Utah Arts Festival, isn’t it? You are so right. There are so many talented Utah artists and musicians who should be given the opportunity to show off those talents. I heard from a friend that a friend of hers who’s local couldn’t get in because there was no more room. There were so many out-of-state artists at the show this year that it really took away that feeling of community.

Even the musicians didn’t get a fair shake. Why would they schedule a local hip-hop band like Sinthesis on Thursday afternoon at 3:45? Before them was another local rock band. Why would they schedule at that day and time for local young bands? These up-and-coming local bands are looking for a little more recognition, and a weekday afternoon is far from that.


The poetry slam was moved inside, which I think was a mistake. When we went to see Iris Moulton read poetry, there were only about 12 people there. Last year it was at the Big Mouth Café, and the audience was much larger'probably about 50 people. The exposure brought more people in.


The arts festival has changed for the worse over the years. It’s just not as classy as it used to be. I was disappointed in the food; the gyro had ranch dressing on it. Come on now'ranch dressing? The dolmathes came right out of a can, cold. The dipped strawberries were a hit, though. They can come back, in my opinion.

The festival had more of an amusement park feel to it this year. I most likely won’t attend again unless someone I know is performing. I’ll leave after the performance and go to Crown Burger for a decent gyro.
tLorraine Thomas
Salt lake City

Spain Was First
Glad John Saltas is enjoying his vacation. I particularly enjoyed his article about Cretan resistance [“Cretan Cleansing,” Private Eye, June 21, City Weekly]. However, I think he got one detail wrong. Hitler first broke all the “rules of warfare” a few years earlier at the invitation of his good buddy Francisco Franco, who offered him urban targets in Euskadi (the Basque region) to bust the backbone of those fiercely independent souls. Accordingly, the Lutwaffe was dispatched in March of 1937 to Durango, and again in April, more famously, to Gernika (Guernica), to decimate the local population on market day. In Gernika, more than 1,000 died.

Like you, I was on vacation the last three weeks in Spain and France. Everywhere, there are those haunting reminders that a lot of blood was spilled in both nations. Every village in France has a monument to the fallen of both World Wars and Algeria. Walls in Barcelona still bear the pockmarks of urban firefights. Here in the United States, xenophobes are quick to dismiss the Spanish as capitulators and the French as “surrender monkeys.” But I wonder what people’s opinions might be had two world wars been fought here on U.S. soil? Blood is easy to spill when it’s fertilizing someone else’s back yard, when the actors are invisible volunteers from other neighborhoods (Utah produces the fewest Iraq-bound soldiers per capita).
Salt Lake City

Jonesing for Video
I heard this on the radio, but I didn’t believe it so I had to Google it: The American Medical Association is voting on whether or not to add “video-game addiction” to the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The AMA’s Council of Science has prepared a 10-page report to be presented and voted on later this month. Following an affirmative AMA vote, the American Psychiatric Association will stroke its collective beard and then vote. And into the DSM, chiseled in stone, it will go. Oy Gevalt!

According to the AMA’s official apologia, it is just defining a segment of the population in need of help. Don’t get me started on that line of logic. Hey guys! Dudes! Over here! I already know how to cure it!

Not if, but when, this brand spankin’ new addiction goes into the DSM alongside sibling-o-phobia and Peter Pan Syndrome, it will, in a rare reversal of roles, begin to drive some legal machinery. Civil and corporate rules will change. Video-game addiction will gain official status in society and mandatory toleration in the workplace the same as, for instance, gambling addiction, alcoholism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette’s Syndrome. It will still, however, be illegal to stare at the administrative assistant’s headlights staring at you through her ribbed cotton blouse.


Accommodations will have to be made for an entirely new class of newly “disabled” people. Advocacy groups will follow new 12-step programs. No, I’m not being silly. Stop looking at me that way. Now, if I said San Francisco was hosting its first annual Video Game Addict Pride Parade later this summer, that would be silly. Well, perhaps not.


Well, sign me up! The first thing I’ll do is demand Pac Man and some really big speakers for my desktop at work: “Yeah, baby! Yes, the power pill! Come here, little ghosties'Gotcha!”


“Shut up, John, we’re on a conference call!nn

“I can’t help it. The AMA says I’m an addict. I ought to report you to human resources for offending me.

Yes, we could take that conversation right into the toilet. Next, I’ll go for the hard stuff: Grand Theft Auto IV! After all, I’m already an addict. The AMA said so.

Make Jerry Garcia Proud
Sadly, with the advent of the Internet a couple years ago, and software and music piracy all around us, CD shops and/or record shops around town and across the country seem to be dwinding at an alarming rate. Never mind iTunes and Tower Records filing for bankruptcy not too long ago.

I read in City Weekly, in utter shock and disbelief, that our beloved Virgin Megastore at The Gateway is closing, due to slow sales, as your editorial piece puts it, of $20 CDs [“Rollin’ Thunder,” Frost Bytes, May 24].

Well, despite the store’s prime location on 400 West and the juxtaposition of Fleming’s Steak House nearby, with these $100,000 luxury cars parked out front before, during, and after Jazz games, it goes to show that not even Sir Richard Branson himself could make it in Salt Lake City.


Retail in Salt Lake City is dead. What more could be said about Salt Lake City’s unfavorable business and retail climate? As I’ve said before in previous letters written to the editor of your fine publication, nobody shops downtown anymore.


Why doesn’t Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson rethink his position on the Main Street sky walk and have it connect to The Gateway to the west, since that’s where a majority of people shop in Salt Lake City anyway, and which is where they also get their morning cup of coffee at Starbucks? But that’s beside the point.


The absence of this store will be a major blow to the local economy and send the wrong message to other retailers wanting to locate to Salt Lake City. I wonder what Presiding Bishop H. David Burton thinks about the current situation? Therefore, I would submit to Branson and Anderson to keep Virgin Megastore at The Gateway.


If all else fails, I would like to see Virgin Megastore relocate to ailing Main Street downtown, perhaps right above Bennion Jewelers on the corner of 100 South. It could have two to three levels of shopping and more CD selections than one can imagine (the selection at the current location sucks) and an urban lounge upstairs, so you could grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

That would make Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison very proud.

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