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Letters 

CL Has Balls
The first words out of my mouth when I turned to page 28 of "The Agony & The Ecstasy" (by Sam Boykin, April 6) were "the Bible thumpers are gonna raise hell about this"....only to be followed by "I can't wait to read the letters complaining about it"...but this letter ain't bitchin' nor complainin' about it at all. This letter is to give a huge thumbs up to all the good people at Creative Loafing who had the BALLS and BOOBS to print that photo. I'm sure all whiners will threaten boycotts, and protests, and all that other negativity that usually erupts anytime a hemline is too short, or a nipple pops out during a football game. But hold your ground, Creative Loafing. And in a few years when the Bible belt of the right gets a little looser they'll find out that there's a lot of other fun stuff that can be done on your knees besides pray.

— Chad Helmuth, Charlotte

White Collar/Spiked Collar
I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciated your story about Purgatory and the whole BDSM underground here in Charlotte. I am a recent "convert" (so to speak) into that scene. I have been to three Purgatory parties so far and am looking forward to this Saturday night. It was really great to read an unbiased "just the facts ma'am" kind of article on this subject. As you put it, Charlotte is definitely a white collar kind of town and anything other than that is usually looked down on. It's really funny how this town is so culturally diverse and an "anything goes" kind of place yet this "anything" doesn't go. Your article will have more than a few people re-examining their viewpoints on this subject. Long overdue here in the Bible belt! I just wanted to let you know that I thought it was a very well written and well done article. Great job!

— Yvonne Snyder, Gastonia

Respect Thy Neighbor's Kinks
Congratulations on your excellent representation of Charlotte's underground community. As a member of this community now for almost 10 years I have to say that your protrayal was fairly accurate and that's not an easy thing to capture given little exposure to it before you began your story. I was also pleased to see how you ended the article reinforcing our credo of "safe, sane and consensual" and anything other than that is brutality. It is hard to convince the general public that we are really a very closeknit and caring community. We respect, while not always embracing, the kink that someone else has. We believe it is the right of every human being to live their lives as they see fit as long as it does not hurt or embarrass someone who is an innocent party to any relationship.

Charlotte is fast becoming a metropolis but it has miles to go before it will ever attain the acceptance a big city provides. Tongues still wag, identities are protected and we live vanilla lives while the rest of the world outside believes that we are not their neighbors or children or something else other than what we really are. For the most part, we hold very responsible positions in the companies that support Charlotte's growth and economy. We are law abiding citizens who just want to live our lives in the open but find that the Bible-belted community is so against us, it makes it impossible. Perhaps your article will help shed some needed light on the misunderstood lifestyle/scene that I embrace and call my own. Thank you.

— Name withheld by request, Charlotte

A Dream for the Rich
In "California Dreaming" (April 6) David Walters describes a beautiful, urban San Francisco with a shortage of children and affordable housing. Perhaps the taxes there seem less of a burden because it is a place in which only the affluent can afford to live. As a poor working single mother of one, Walters' vision for Charlotte does not seem to include many options. I work in the South Park area, and although I am moving to an apartment closer to work, a home in that area is far out of my reach. Just like whites in the past took a percentage of their slaves' pay, Walters wants to use the government gun to take our money in order prop up light rail and control us through urban planning. Only when the government stops controlling the market with housing codes, zoning rules, favors for builders, corporate welfare, and pork projects will we see real tax burden relief and competitive housing options. If we are not careful we'll create a pretty, yet authoritarian world in which the rich rule, but the poor have no rights, no choices, or quality affordable housing.

— Jennifer Schulz, Charlotte

Jane Got God
Conspicuous by its absence is any mention in "The Many Phases of Jane" (by Curt Holman, April 6) of Jane Fonda's recent embrace of Christianity — or at least spirituality. This is a phase of Jane's life that is mentioned all-too-rarely by the media. Is it because CL and the rest of the media are allergic to religion?

— Stephen V. Gilmore, Charlotte

EDITOR'S REPLY: Thank you for thinking we have the ability, not to mention the time, to conspire against religion, but we simply didn't have room to run the entire article.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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