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The Kids are All Right

Brendan Newnam

Shirley Shin

Usually I enjoy listening to your fine show. So I was appalled yesterday when you played the tape of the school administrator's wife raving on the answering machine. You took the opportunity to ignore her behavior and instead assail the young people of America. With what other group would it be acceptable to combine generalization and denigration?

Prejudice against young people is widespread and seems to be socially acceptable, though not explainable in rational terms. Young people aren't perfect, but as a group those I meet are as well- or better-behaved than their elders. Perhaps the intolerance of youth arises from fear or envy, but generally young people behave about as well as the adults around them do. Perhaps the criticism of children is merely a veiled attack on their parents.

In any case, Weekend America can behave better in the future and show more imagination and bravery in its choice of targets.

Fritz Goeckner
Burlington, Iowa


I would like to remain anonymous for reasons that will soon be clear. The young man from Fairfax County, Va., who called the home number of the school administrator and asked why a snow day was not called may receive some unintended consequences.

The student is a senior applying for colleges and I am a college admissions officer with his application on my desk. Now, I have to weigh the importance of his actions in relation to his application. No matter how his application finally ends up -- approved or denied -- I do not think that the student ever wanted to be in this vulnerable of a position. Would he have been so careless toward embarrassing the administrator's wife if he had known he could also be hurt by his actions?

Paul D


I loved the story about the Chicago dance party, how it was a safe place where women could go to let go, without making a public spectacle of themselves. I thought that telling this story on the radio was a perfect use of the medium -- heard but not seen.

That is, I loved it until I heard the ubiquitous, "You can see this on our Web site." Huh? Doesn't showing pictures of their party on the Web for the whole world to see, completely negate the idea of a safe, private place? The whole point of the dance party was that the women involved could keep their wild and craziness relatively private.

Did you not get the point? Do you not get that the beauty of radio is that it ISN'T video? I won't go look at the visuals on your site. I prefer to use my imagination.

Jane Goodman
Cleveland, Ohio


This is a response to Comic Wonder who said on your show today that there is NO punch line to "A horse walks into a bar."

MY favorite joke is: "A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'Why the long face?'"
THAT is funny!

Judith Jurgenson
Chicago, Ill.


I have to take issue with your coverage of the release of Ken Gonzales-Day's book "Lynchings in the Old West," specifically the story's equating of lynchings in California to lynchings throughout the entire Old West. If this was the intent of Mr. Gonzales-Day and your story, I'm afraid that the information presented is grossly inaccurate. While there is a history of lynching and extra judicial punishment throughout the Western United States, in the North and Rocky Mountain West most victims were not Latinos. In those regions most were white.

Moreover, Mr. Gonzales-Day's lumping of every white ethnic group together with the modern term of "Anglo" is revisionist in the extreme. In the 19th century, whites were not viewed as one group, and they were most certainly not all viewed as "Anglos." The West was settled by a diverse collection of groups claiming European heritage: East Europeans, Italians, Portuguese, Basques, Irish, Cornish, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon Americans from back East. Any trip to the old fishing towns of Northern California or small mining towns of Colorado and Montana will confirm this.

Such a gross simplification of the ethnic and social realities of the 19th century West makes me doubt how legitimate Mr. Gonzales-Day's work really is.

All that aside I love your show.

Nicholas Severn
Minneapolis, Minn.

  • Music Bridge:
    Fest Der Grillen
    Artist: Chica and the Folder
    CD: Under The Balcony (Monika))

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