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There's a 'Hung' Joke in Here Somewhere, but We Can't Find It

If they get newspapers in heaven, David Foster Wallace is setting down his harp and taking a red pen to Doug Merchant's tribute (Guest Commentary, Sept. 25). Besides being a genius storyteller, Wallace was widely known as a brilliant grammarian who occasionally pointed out usage errors in language expert William Safire's columns. The 46-year-old author of Infinite Jest "hung himself," Merchant wrote. Tsk, tsk. Wallace, as any word maven would tell you, hanged himself.

Mike Kalil


Be Safe While Camping!

I read your article on the terrors of the Chiricahuas with interest ("The Chiricahua Corridor," Sept. 11), as my wife and I have gone camping there for years. As seniors, we were concerned with your story, so I called a bunch of folks: rangers at Bonita Campground and the Douglas Ranger District, and people at the Portal Store. All said they had not heard of any robberies, burglaries or violence in their areas. So was the story hyped to attack the Tumacacori Wilderness proposal?

Anyway, we're going camping.

Albert Lannon


A Reasoned, Cordial Response to Our Endorsements

Dear Tucson Weakly Gang of Idiots: Let's hope the voters have more sense than you IDIOTS!

Barack Hussein O'bama has no experience to be our president at this time. O'bama has a "gift-of-gab," but he is only playing deceitful politics (just like you guys). He risked our soldiers' lives by voting not to fund our troops (even Joe Biden, his vice presidential choice, said this). O'bama is not ready to lead (even Joe Biden said this).

Robert W. "Bob" Boyle


Driving While Gabbing Can Be Deadly

Immediately after I turned south onto Alvernon Way from Pima Street, a large, SUV-type thing with a person yakking on a cell phone pulled out directly in front of me. I was already up to the speed limit, and with only about 30 feet between us, it was by sheer luck alone that I was able to miss her. Brakes locked, tires screaming and smoking, I was able to slide my pickup truck behind her.

Afterward, I was so shaken that I had to pull over and gather my wits. The clueless driver paused for a moment in the center lane and then drove away, without even so much as an "I'm sorry." I probably expect too much from my fellow drivers, but I do expect them to be responsible enough to get off the phone and drive.

It's no wonder that, according to a Harvard study, cell-phone use while driving accounts for more than 2,000 deaths and a half-million injuries in the U.S. each year. Most of us aren't trained to handle more than one thing at a time, yet we think that we can deal with a serious impairment while trying to steer large, deadly objects through urban traffic. A 2006 study by researchers at the University of Utah found that talking on a cell phone while driving is equivalent to having a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent, which defines being legally drunk in most states. Most folks are responsible enough not to drink and drive, but they think nothing at all of driving and yakking.

John Hughes


Thanks for the Anarchist Attention, 'Weekly'!

Thanks for the mention in the Best of Tucson#trade;. We're looking forward to beating the pants off the other anarchist collectives in this year's nationals!

Seriously, though, it was nice of you to let folks know we exist. We haven't really had much press since the Arizona Daily Star, the Arizona Daily Wildcat and Pima Community College's Aztec Press did articles on us. The Star's was really in depth; you should check it out. It's got a lot of information since their reporter came to a couple of the free classes and did interviews with a number of our collective members. Then you might not find us so mysterious (although we kind of like being mysterious; that's why we wear masks in public).

Besides facilitating a book and zine library, a computer lab, a free store, free classes, a monthly event on consensual sex, weekly discussion groups, about 10 music shows per month and staffing "open hours" four days per week, we have shown films, hosted speakers and shared information on numerous justice movements, raising funds and consciousness for groups here in Arizona and as far away as Israel/Palestine, Southern Mexico and New Zealand. We also have jobs, go to school, play music, make art, write, skate, have lovers and families, travel and work on other projects here in Tucson (check out the new radio station at FreeRadioChukshon.org). Hopefully this gives you a clearer picture of "what we do."

Also, we were wondering what the reference to Joe Strummer meant. He had political and class consciousness, but we never knew him to be an anarchist. Besides that, anarchist collectives have been growing all over the world, especially since 1999's big blowout in Seattle, the official start of the never-ending "War on Terror" and increasing global capitalism and militarization of borders.

Eric Richards and the Dry River Collective

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