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Letters to the Editor 

Earle Makes Him Hurl

Re: "The God and the Infidel," by Don Hazen (August 28). The fact that Steve Earle is much less popular than The Boss and the fact that Bruce Springsteen has sold more albums in a year than Mr. Earle could hope to sell in his lifetime explains why Earle wrote "John Walker's Blues." The line you quoted and his reasoning don't seem that controversial to me, though his word choice is a bit harsh ("land of the infidel"). It's a publicity stunt. Earle knows that by releasing something "taboo," something "controversial," people will pay attention and buy the CD just out of curiosity. I never heard of this guy until now. I don't plan to buy his album; I may take the songs off Kazaa, but I'm not giving him money. Not because he's viewed as our new Jane Fonda, but because he sold out by being controversial for the sake of being controversial, not for the sake of speaking his mind. He'll be watching and cheering CNN with the rest of us when the fireworks start again over Iraq.

-- Stephan G. Kirsch, Charlotte

Women With Balls

I agree with the spirit of Tim C. Davis' "The Song Remains The Same" (September 4) regarding the dearth of substantive post-9/11 music. He writes that "After September 11, the country waited for a performer with the balls to react... we're still waiting." Those unwilling to join Mr. Davis' System of a Down lovefest might want to check out Sleater-Kinney's new album. These women are the ones "with the balls," as Davis so colorfully puts it. One Beat includes a couple of songs that deal with 9/11, most notably "Combat Rock," which, in a genuine voice and without succumbing to cliche, addresses dissent and the post-9/11 marketing of patriotism.

The musical void that Mr. Davis astutely sheds light upon has, I think, less to do with introspective musicians struggling for a way to articulate their pain and more to do with the deep well of complacent American music buyers willing to clothe and feed the Toby Keiths and Lee Greenwoods of this country.

-- James Kelly, Charlotte

Evacuation Plans Laughable

Once again, another series of excellent articles by your resident pit bull reporter, Tara Servatius ("City At Risk," September 4). At least Duke Energy was up front enough to acknowledge the risks, unlike our county officials. The comments made by Wayne Broom regarding evacuation plans were totally laughable. Even a moderate radiation leak would cause mass panic and turn all the main roads into a giant parking lot.

As a pilot, I totally dispute the EPRI study saying that a large aircraft could only strike a cooling tower at less than 300mph. You can be sure that a direct hit at near supersonic speeds is possible. And the no-fly zones serve little practical purpose other than as a picture on a map. A high speed aircraft would pass through very quickly.

I think the terrorism hysteria is already way too high in this country and I doubt the next attack will use aircraft. But with nuclear material, the consequences are too large to ignore. Thank you CL for being Charlotte's best source of news.

-- Dick Healy, Charlotte

Young At Heart

In response to Elizabeth Chapel's article regarding the appeal of younger men ("Survival of the Fetish," August 28), I heartily agree. However, after years of dating younger men, I found that I began to miss true connected conversation. Typically, the conversations I used to have with younger men involved which professor they had for whatever class or which night club had the coolest bartenders. Granted, there was on occasion the hottie youngster who was capable of intelligent and interesting dialogue exchanges, but they were few and usually short-lived. Then I lucked out. The hot and fit looks of a younger guy with the open and experienced mind of a man one year older than me!

For some women, younger men are a lifelong choice. For me, they were a diversion until the real thing came along.

-- Wendy Wells, Charlotte

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