Welcome to Yackity-Smackity, verbosity's obligatory letters to the editor(s) section. It's here that we like to handle some of the questions we receive each month. If you'd like to write us with praise, flames, or queries, just send them to verbosity@wiw.org. Please note that letters may or may not be shortened for clarity and/or space. We look forward to hearing from you!


This month we noticed that our mailbox was full of comments (read: flames) concerning our article last issue on the Straight-Edge Punk movement. It seems that we managed to stir a little controv ersy with this article. Therefore, we hand over the column to our official punk-guy, Corey.

Missing the point...

I have to disagree with your attitude in the article about the growing straight-edge movement among youth today. You're missing the point by flaunting the major "flaw" he found in the movement (namely, the danger posed by hardcore shows) because you missed the point of the general philosophy/attitude. Being sXe is not about being different per se; it's about saying you are proud of your abilities to make a rational choice as a free human being, not to pollute your mind or body in such a way that wil l disrupt your ability to make other free, rational choices. Being sXe means living a life about making choices with a clear mind and, at the same time, enjoying hardcore.
The author belittles the efforts kids are trying to make to promote the benefits of a positive drug-free lifestyle by reducing it to a stereotypical image of kids trying to be alternative while not believing in what they spout. I have to say that if you think it doesn't take guts to say, as a thirteen or fifteen or nineteen or twenty-something year old person, to say that you do not in any way support or condone the substance-abusive and disrespectful attitudes of the majority of today's youth, then you obviously have never been ridiculed or singled out for being strong about your beliefs, and you have also never felt the pride of being with other people who actually hold those same attitudes.

                                  Valerie Wade

A dying breed...

I read your article on sXe on verbosity and I have to say I feel you missed some things. I've been sXe for the past 3 years. Very hard core for the past 6 months. sXe isn't a self-preservation movement. Most edgers I know did not give up drinking and drugs solely for health reasons; I know I didn't give them up just to be healthy. Most edgers I know gave up these poisons in their lived to become stronger. I could quote lots of sXe literature promoting the human mind--that's what bring sXe is largly about. "Don't smoke/don't drink/don't f---/at least i can f---ing think." In my opinion, sXe is a dying scene because people are too weak and fearful of the sXe lifestyle.


He didn't like it...

I know we are not all perfect in our research and our writings, but your essay on Straight Edge is totally full of s---. Not being Straight Edge, you would not know what it means. Yeah, different, but cool--that's why I'm Straight Edge. I know we should all have our own opinions, but you don't understand about the Edge and you shouldn't have f---ed with it. You are just like all the kids at my high school . You feel threatened by a movement that has the power to make a change, so you feel compelled to try to make hypocrits out of Edgers and Vegans. F---ing grow up. The Straight Edge is NOT a passing phase.

                                  Davey Collins

[Ed. Note: Mr. Collins later wrote back, softening some statements said, that he regarded as perhaps too strong. Either way, we appreciate his feedback.]

In defense...

Look, I'm a SxE because I am sick of poisoning my body with chemical crap thrown at me from all directions. I AM cynical, I AM drug-free, I AM proud of myself for going straight-edge! I do not want to turn into the ChemMonsters that all the kids I went to grade school did! Not all of us are into hardcore shows. A lot of us are very wonderful, caring people with lives beyond Circle Jerk lyric sheets! Unfortunatly, though, your argument does have a point, in most cases you are right. This is sad, I think.
I think the Dead Kennedys said it best when the said "A hairstyle's not a lifestyle." I am SxE and I am proud to say I know other SxE's that are very nice, friendly people.

                                  Laura J. Partlow

Corey sez: In last month's issue of [PTt], I didn't seek to destroy that which is straight-edge. However, I did feel it was necessary to state what I thought were some questionable ideals of the movement. I apologize if anyone got the wrong idea, but I felt that I had made it clear that a reader needs to research the movement his or herself. I have no problems with sXe ideals myself, but I usually don't support movements en masse, as, in my eyes, they generally don't allow for the individualism I see as necessary.

On a lighter note...

That Ken Williams' interview was GREAT!!! It was SO funny!

                               Philip Cayting

Jess sez: Thanks, Philip! We've received a fair amount of feedback about the Ken Williams interview since we ran it last month. Oddly enough, it seems that a lot of people found it quite funny. A few people implied that Mr. Williams seemed a bit arrogant in the interview, as well, citing various statements thoughout the conversation. Either way, we thank Ken again for chatting with us and thanks to Sierra for promoting us on SierraWeb.

As many of you may or may not know, we here at verbosity began our quest last month to procure ourselves a monkey mascot--Bleepo, the Verbose Monkey. From now on, progress on this quest will be updated montly on Yackity-Smackity.
For September, 1996, we really don't have much to report. We did talk a little about how cool it would be to have a monkey, but made no action toward securing ourselves a simian. Also, our tarot-reading friend, Janissa, predicted (in a round- about way) that we would eventually get Bleepo in this month's article, verbosity's destiny. Stay tuned for updates!

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