I would like to congratulate the students of the University of Michigan for earning a well-deserved place on Mother Jones magazine's annual list of activist campuses ("News Hits," MT, Sept 20-26). Our state can be proud indeed, since this isn't the first time a local school has earned that distinction; Michigan State University made the list in 1995 for activating against Gov. Engler's attempt to end the Indian tuition waiver (Mother Jones, Sept/Oct 1995). —Patrick Towey, firstname.lastname@example.org, East Lansing
Laboring with Ralph
Thanks very much for the interview with Ralph Nader ("Nader’s long march," MT, Sept. 20-26). Allen Marshall's comment at the end of your piece sums up my feelings about the campaign exactly, but I find myself in the same position as most labor folk. I don't want to do anything that might get Dubyah in. Thanks to you for taking the time and effort. Where else but the MT would we be able to read anything more than a passing shot at Ralph Nader? I must admit, however, that I wish I still had my Corvair. —Dennis Andersen, Rochester
I thank you for coming to my building, 2000 Brooklyn, to review the Composite show in the Gallery 2000 Brooklyn space. I appreciate the accuracy of your story and your recognition that you can get high off the event and not the booze and smoking. Yes, this was fashion theater at its best. Unfortunately most galleries today try to promote the alcohol more than the art. The building was established as a artist colony 12 years ago and has 14 artists living in it, including Maureen Maki and Jerome Ferretti. From your article it seems you did not make it into the lobby of the building or the private art collection where another 250 people experienced art and flamenco dancing and music. Thank you again. —Richard C. Rollins, Detroit
Your article about the new Apple operating system ("Debatable beta," MT, Oct 4-10) seems to focus only on the $29.95 charge for the OS X beta. I don't see anything wrong with a fee that covers the cost of goods. Apple did the right thing in that this is a beta OS and shouldn't be installed by novices. The fee will most likely discourage users that aren't serious. I also don't see the point in blaming current management for the timetables imposed by management that has long since left the company. Apple has proven themselves with 11 straight profitable quarters and an OS strategy that makes sense. As an OS X beta tester, I feel that I got my money's worth — and, by the way, it was my choice.
If you don't feel that paying for a Beta OS is a good idea, then don’t. Try using a Mac for a while and maybe you'll understand. I doubt that you will put in the effort as it is much easier just to shoot from the other side of the fence. —Terry White, email@example.com, Southfield
Adam Druckman responds: Terry... you got me all wrong. I love the Mac. Some of my best friends have Macs. I'm not Macphobic at all; I just know the value of my time. If I'm going to product test a buggy beta, I sure as heck don't want to pay for the privilege. That I'm no newbie just makes my time more valuable. Still, devotion like yours is admirable, if a bit puzzling. Join me at the altar of cynicism with this open-source prayer: "If no one buys the beta, they'll have to just give it away."
Thank you Jack Lessenberry for your mass media
slam ("...Now for the news," MT, Oct. 4-10). The media's decline into listless amorphism has truly influenced the idiot culture that is America. From uninformative, corporate-controlled big-city newspapers and TV news; to idolizing ignorant radio and TV talk show hosts; to sports icons making eight figures and shamelessly promoting self-grandiosity; to glamorizing drug abuse, senseless violence, and teen sex in movies; to the Pontiac Aztek, (cq) a vehicle resembling something from an 1980s sci-fi flick, it's an insult; a corporate mass marketing ploy to pinpoint idiots. Not only does mass media need a complete overhaul, so does American culture. If societal ills — extreme drug abuse, mental illness, violence, hatred, apathy, ignorance, and isolationism — keep propagating in our youth and are carelessly shrugged at by parents, politicians and reporters alike, when and how will society's cultural downward spiral be broken? Would mass media reform really wake society out of its lethargic slumber? Who knows, but imagine our society if people were bombarded by intelligence on a daily basis. I might just pee my pants with glee if it ever happened. —Louis Poulos, Plymouth
Jack Lessenberry responds: I don’t know what a Pontiac Aztek is. I have, however, peed my pants.