Thursday, November 12, 1998
Attacking the Source
Upon re-reading the "witch" article ("Public Forum," Oct. 29), I must say that I feel you are doing a great disservice to your readers and yourself. First, Ms. Sallee is incorrect in her facts. The sacrifice of children on Halloween became popular also, but, of course, she never mentioned that.
More importantly, you yourself are alienating your readers and advertisers, me being one of them. Expressing opinion is one thing. Calling people 'ignorant', 'frightened,' and 'narrow-minded' is something else.
I will not write any rebuttal to her diatribe, as it would only serve to legitimize it. What I will do however, is attack the source. And that seems to be Coast Weekly, which obviously concurs with the writer's opinions.
I want to hear that CW will publish either an apology or explanation for their offense to the local Judeo-Christian community... Not for CW having their opinion, which is their right, but for infantile name-calling, which only serves to incite anger.
I reserve my own right, to personally contact each owner of each business which advertises in CW (most of whom I know), and make them aware of this offensiveness and suggest that they withdraw their future display advertising support completely.
An American newspaper has every right to publish whatever it wishes. And, an American citizen has every right to organize any boycott they wish. The sword of the right of speech cuts both ways.
Re: Halloween Forum
The Eurocentric view of Denise Sallee in Public Forum (Oct. 29) concerning silly superstitions of past human ignorance can be illustrated to be historically inaccurate.
To say "the devil is a Judeo-Christian god," does not take into account many other myths, which have their own inimical genii. Arabs have Shaitan, Babylonians had Nergal and Ereshkigal. Classical Greeks produced Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft who became part of the so-called witch religion of "wicca." The prolific personifications of demonic devildom predate, and are completely isolated from, European ideals of a devil.
The "witchcraft-not-Satanism" school harbors the same need to elevate themselves by denigrating others as do their religious brethren, from whom they claim emancipation. Perhaps CW should consult other authorities on this topic in the future to assure historic and factual consistency.
Denise Sallee's Public Forum, neglected to mention another part of Samhain (Halloween) tradition. During the Druid festival honoring of Samhain and the "Sun God," humans were placed in wicker cages and set on fire by the Druid priests. Perhaps this is another tradition of the past she would like to "honor." Probably by placing Christians and non-pagans in those wicker cages.
BRIAN L. BURLESON
Editor's Response: Public Forum is open to members of the public. Views and concepts expressed in that column are not necessarily those of CW or its staff.
Slanted media? Nahhh. Unless you consider Coast Weekly's "Street Talk" smoking question (in last week's issue), publishing only non-smokers' responses. OK, so there was an "occasional good cigar" and an " I used to" response, but no regular smokers. Let's also consider that Coast Weekly published their voting views in the issue days prior to election day, effectively denying print of any opposing opinion until after elections. Isn't part of your Mission Statement "To create a forum of diverse viewpoints...?" Perhaps you should add "after it's too late to matter." You have to be aware that your paper does influence a portion of the community.
All I ask is that you allow "diverse viewpoint" in future issues. I ask you to print your political views two issues before voting day. You might even ask yourselves whether re-indoctrination of your writers/ editors towards your mission is needed. I weakly await the next weekly. And the next, and the next, and the...
Congratulations!! The smoking ban is working. There were no smokers, "occasional good cigar" excepted, in last week's Street Talk poll.
DAL D. ARI, SALINAS
Bring Back Ernest
Introduction of "Ernest" in the March 26 issue was like a breath of fresh air. It was an easily understood satire, though subsequent strips seem to have been contradictory to CW's political policy. I wonder if that is the reason why the strip was dropped?
Compared to "Maxine," "The City," and "Red Meat," "Friends of Ernest" was great humor. The three previously mentioned strips are at times clear as mud, at other times negative.
I am not advocating deleting any of the three strips you favor, but I resent you dropping "Ernest."