The Mail: 11/11-11/18

For what? For the victims.

Is the cover article on dirt bikes (Feature, Oct. 27) really asking 'for what'? How about for the four people who died this year because of dirt bike crashes in our city? It's one thing if the only people getting hurt were the riders—the ones deciding to take the risk. But innocent bystanders including a 5 year old (!) are dead because of this "hobby," and the article suggests that police are somehow at fault for trying to make people do it in a safer way? How insensitive to the families of the people that have died. I can't imagine the horror they would feel at reading how the deaths of their loved ones were so callously disregarded with the title, premise, and tone of this article. Maybe their lives deserved more than one paragraph.

Eric Leikus

From the Web, Facebook, and Twitter

"Wright or Wrong: A Dundalk pastor says drunk drivers get a pass—and the state doesn't seem to care"

This is a serious topic. The key here is that alcoholics are given a free pass to continue driving which can end up killing people. At the same time, alcoholics don't stop drinking just because they take a course or report to a probation officer. Their licenses should be suspended and they should be monitored for at least 5 years if the public is to be protected.

—"ecogordo," Nov. 6

"Kahlon celebrates its two-year anniversary"

Could you go on about something that isn't made up completely of City Paper alumni? Like a show that doesn't happen at The Crown? Are there even any music venues in the city that aren't in Station North or a dingy DIY basement? Would it kill you to wander outside your fuckin' bubble for five minutes?

Is this a newspaper or an art kid's blog?

—"pastyjerk," Nov. 5

"Anti-Confederate statue vandalized with racist graffiti inside the Copycat building"

All the more reason to take the Confederate monument out of Baltimore.

—"Dave Marcoot," Nov. 6

"'The Martian' rewrites 1950s space-race politics"

Scharmen is guilty of presentism where he is using the cultural values and ethics of today to judge the behavior of people, like von Braun, in a past era. To have expected Colliers and Disney to have produced media about the exploration of space using a multicultural, gender inclusive narrative is naive to say the least and specious at best. When we look at "Star Trek: The Original Series," we praise the show for depicting a diverse crew which included an African-American officer (Uhura), an Asian officer (Sulu) while the Vietnam War was raging, and a Russian officer (Chekov) during the height of the Cold War. Mr. Spock was half-Vulcan and represented the "outsider" who was different in a significant way from the rest of the crew. Still, Kirk was the quintessential white male leader who led the crew. This was from the progressive mind of Gene Roddenberry in 1966. So to expect that von Braun and the other proponents of space exploration to have acted differently in the '50s and '60s is simply unrealistic. This lack of context renders the commentary ineffective. What should be pointed out is how we have progressed over the last 60 years in how we view the roles of women and minorities in science, research, and engineering. I remember when Sally Ride's first flight was heavily covered by the media because it was historic. Now, having a female astronaut in space is routine. Same with minorities. We have also seen women and minorities make great strides in being depicted in science fiction books, series, and films. As a historian, it is vital to place the events of the past and the people who inhabited that time frame in the proper context to bring meaning to understanding them and the time discussed.

—"Robert Karma," Nov. 7

"Eating Cheese With a Fork: On the witchy powers of locally made Gunpowder Blue"

My grandpa used to say, "An apple without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze." I'm gonna try this with a nice tart Granny Smith!

—"Kay Sera," Nov. 5

"Form and Function: On the new lights near Preston Gardens"

This is cool. I would love to see the city add some similar kind of lighting accent to the Hanover Street bridge facade - I think that could look really cool!

—"Gary Sever," Nov. 5

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