ACTION IS NEEDED

DAN SAVAGE: I'd like to thank you for your comments on the killing of Rachel Corrie ["Saint Rachel," March 20]. I have to admit that I read the article prepared for you to call her actions in Rafah "stupid." Thank you for respecting her life and death. And thank you for bringing up the concept of speaking out against the war and acting against the war; both are necessary. But action is needed most now: If a very selfish and ignorant man can wage war on the people of the world, then the people he "represents" can certainly shut him and his agenda down. He is acting; we must act.

Ariel, via e-mail


THE GAY ALFRED E. NEWMAN

DAN SAVAGE: "SNOW's demonstrations have all the symbolic weight and gravitas of a conga line."

That's funny, coming from gay liberation's own Alfred E. Newman. Is it really useful to point out that peace activists are naive? Is it beyond you to contribute substance to the discussion?

Your distinction between Rachel Corrie's protest and the encirclement of Green Lake is false and petty. Ask Voices in the Wilderness, some of whom are in Baghdad right now, whether or not they support encircling Green Lake. Soon enough, SNOW protesters will be clubbed, cuffed, and arrested, and their encirclement of Green Lake will only serve to remind you of their peaceful intent.

Bill Warner, via e-mail


LETTER FROM A CONFUSED OBSERVER

DAN SAVAGE: I just want to thank you for the article you wrote on Rachel Corrie. Although I haven't personally been involved in any of the area protests against the war, I have been a confused observer. It didn't make a lot of sense to me that people were protesting around Green Lake--I couldn't see what results they expected from their actions. It seems like it's very easy for people to stand around a beautiful lake in a reasonably wealthy neighborhood and protest the war. What Rachel Corrie did was an unselfish and brave act in the name of worldwide peace. If protesters put their efforts toward more meaningful targets (and not I-5 or Green Lake), it would be truly amazing what they could accomplish. Of course, I shouldn't even talk, as my part in all of this has simply been to sit at home, glued to my television in awe and horror.

Anonymous, via e-mail


RIGHT ON BRO!

DAN SAVAGE: For some years now, I've listened to some of your pieces on This American Life and KUOW, to name a couple of spots. Because you sometimes address topics in a raw manner that is uncomfortable for me (NOT a criticism, just a statement of where I stand), I don't usually read your commentaries or seek out your work. In this case, I must say, "RIGHT ON BRO!" I feel very connected with you regarding your comments about protesting against this bought-and-paid-for war of Little Georgie's.

Joan Barber, via e-mail


PROVEN HAPPILY WRONG

DAN SAVAGE: Bravo!

I must admit my irregular reading of The Stranger is usually for comic relief (à la Last Days or Police Beat), but your piece concerning the newly made martyr Rachel Corrie was unusually stirring. I don't look to The Stranger for political news or critical analysis of pressing events by any means, though this time I'm proven happily wrong. I almost completely agree with everything you say in the article. Seeing old comfort-seeking activists policing the potential of an antiwar movement is disillusioning; more to the point, it's also severely detrimental to the existence of any movement concerned with social change. Action must happen, and it must happen outside the confines of the privileged, warm homes of those seeking to control other people's desires and make themselves feel better about sitting idly, nonconfrontationally by while death and destruction ensue around the globe. Boo-hoo on SNOW, and a halfhearted pat on the back for NION. I can only hope they realize that their undying willingness to remain in complete comfort is allowing for the demise of joyful resistance and its accompanying effects.

Anonymous, via e-mail


NO GUTS, NO HEART

DAN SAVAGE: Thank you for saying, in your "Saint Rachel" article, what I have been saying since I moved up here five years ago: that antiwar activists basically have no guts or heart when it comes to demonstrating. I've had boneless hot wings with more kick than these folks. Is this a Pacific Northwest thang, or what? The activists are just lucky the mayor isn't Richard J. Daley!!! Watch out, folks--"Peter Pan" grew up and got a job at Microsoft!! Dan, keep on telling it like it is!!

Dan Tanna, via e-mail


TO BE HALF AS BRAVE

DAN SAVAGE: We should emulate Rachel? Yes, we should. But some of us are not brave enough to do what that woman did. To get arrested is an expensive experience, and it doesn't help that the press (corporate or other) doesn't really get it. Heavily armed policemen are defending streets and scaring children in Seattle, and this keeps us safer. It is ridiculous. If we were to blockade a Navy ship in a harbor, the fine would be $250,000 (I just started a kayak course, and they mentioned this). And, like Rachel, we would probably be killed.

I respect what Rachel did. She did not want to die--she wanted to help people. To do what you're suggesting would be like ACT UP going to Immunex and holding a gun to a research scientist and insisting he cure AIDS. A statement like that might make sense (who doesn't want to cure AIDS?), but it can't happen that way.

The lefties in Seattle do not own or want to claim Rachel. We just wish we were half as brave as she was.

Mark Capellaro, via e-mail


IT ALL FALLS APART

DAN SAVAGE: Your article on Rachel Corrie starts off with an acceptable line of logic, and then falls apart when it ends condemning peace activists. While you sat in your office dreaming up witty catch phrases, others were out trying to make some impact. People have different levels of making that impression--some as subtle as not buying products from a hostile land, some ranging all the way across the spectrum to physically challenging authority with the expectation of violence. Each of these actions comes from the same place in the heart, and all should be respected for what they mean. To infer that all activists must take a more forceful stand is as ridiculous as stating that all people should have the same recreational interests.

Anonymous, via e-mail


ACTUALLY, THEY LOVE BUSH

JOSH FEIT & SANDEEP KAUSHIK: You two need to pay attention to all the facts ["Going It Alone," March 20].

The article you drafted illustrates your ineptitude in separating facts from propaganda. There is no doubt that you are anti-Bush. That's fine. This is America, right? You're free to say and believe what you like. You need, however, to base your beliefs more on principle than on what you hear from the people you hang with or the news you listen to. While there's truth to some of what you say, you've miserably failed to bring the facts to the table. There are reasons France doesn't want to participate. There are facts about evidence you have to admit--you just wouldn't believe [the evidence] if you saw it with your own eyes. Sad, because then you write articles that show how lame your understanding is.

I read The Stranger for the concert info and the articles. If you intend to lose credibility, then keep up the good work.

Todd Emery, via e-mail


CAN'T GET OVER CLINTON

JOSH FEIT & SANDEEP KAUSHIK: You obviously hate the president and the U.S. No facts can penetrate the hatred you have. We are paying for the past sins of the president! Remember Clinton! He was getting a blowjob when he could have had bin Laden. We are losing our individual freedoms every day because of groups of people like you. I get up, go to work, and work hard, and at the end of the day, my successes and failures are my fault, not someone else's. That is America.

Anonymous, via e-mail


AH, LOVE...

JOSH FEIT: I officially love you more than anyone else in the entire world.

You have consistently made every possible good point in your columns against this war, and for that, I have to clap as loudly as I can for you. Thank you so very much, sir.

Michael Raftery, via e-mail


WHERE'S THE MEAT?

STRANGER: Glad to see you're finally paying attention to the hiphop scene [The Truth]. But after two articles from Samuel L. Chesneau, I'm wondering where the meat is. I mean, I'm glad he's covering the local scene, but then to mix it up with national acts like MISSY ELLIOTT'S DANCERS?? And what's with the decade-aged "required listening?" All of us in the "capitalist hipster" demographic that you cater to are very well aware of (and own) most of these. I'd like to see more top-10s from the last two to five years.

Jason, via e-mail


CHOMSKY VS. MUDEDE

STRANGER: So Charles Mudede thinks Noam Chomsky's ideas are "blockish and basic" ["Chomsky Beat," March 20]. Chomsky's credentials: father of modern linguistic theory; endowed chair at MIT; author of several hundred books and articles on linguistic theory and political/social issues; most cited living author; one of the foremost intellectuals of our time; et cetera. Mudede's credentials: writes music and movie reviews for The Stranger. Elephant vs. gnat? More like whale vs. microorganism.

Ed Burns, via e-mail

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: The cover of last week's issue (Vol. 12, No. 27) was by David Robbins, not Eric Feng, as was listed in the paper. We regret this big dumb error.