Off to the Front

Plus: Peacemakers, Crying for Space

Off to the Front

Young sacrifices: What a terrific story about kids (they are still indeed kids) doing something so great for their country ["Young Guns," by Wendy Grossman, February 6]. So many times it seems that all the newspapers report about are kids in trouble, doing drugs and committing crimes.

I wish all these future soldiers the best and thank them as well. Along with my son, who is in the army (awaiting deployment as I write) and has been since he was 18, these "kids" make it possible for me to be free. God bless and Godspeed to them all.

Dixie Ruiz
Houston

Reasons against war: I'm not surprised that high school seniors raised on video games and Reagan-era war porn have a relatively poor grasp of the consequences of war. What truly surprises and disappoints me are the number of putative "adults" equally willing to fight and die for the "Bush family business."

I unconditionally support the right to kill oneself -- I just wish these children could risk their lives in a cause worthy of them.

M. Martin
Houston

Peacemakers

Chasing bush, not Bush: Craig Malisow's article was interesting ["Peace Signs," January 30]. This was a busload of fools, the likes of which I haven't read about in a long time. Of course, they are full of self-delusions about their real motives. I vividly remember the protesters of the '60s, for I was one of them for a short time. But that ended as soon as I read and really listened to what they were saying. It was such a bunch of adolescent crap that, try as I might, I just could not swallow it. And I tried mightily to swallow it because being a protester gave young men access to the loose young women they'd always dreamed of.

The honest ones admitted that their real motive was to get the easy, fast hippie girls. And it turned out that they got what they really wanted often enough to make it worth their while. I always suspected that the girls were there for the same reason. Today's protesters are no different. Protests take the place of pep rallies and dances for disaffected kids who feel left out or spurned by their peers and the world.

Like Marxists, they delude themselves into believing that the source of all their personal unhappiness is the "establishment," the military, big business, the administration and any other authority figure they can find to blame. The truth is that they're maladjusted kids looking to divert themselves from the hard facts of life and just have a good time. They delude themselves that they are doing something of great importance to the world instead of wasting their time with a group of useful idiots, as Stalin called them.

And the only thing that the middle-aged buffoons are "demonstrating" is that there really is no fool like an old fool. Sadly, their motives are exactly the same as the younger ones'. There are some fools whose entire view of life was formed 35 years ago and they remain stuck there. They are proving merely how sorry, lonely and empty their lives really are.

Paul Groben
Houston

Make it heavy: I was so disappointed in the cover story "Peace Signs." I'm not asking the Press to be uncritical of the peace movement, but I would have appreciated some actual journalism. Craig Malisow failed to provide any meaningful critique, and seemed to be more interested in gossiping about the activists' preferred snack foods than about their ideas and methods. And so many pages of it! Perhaps Malisow was attempting to be funny?

The piece was shallow and lighthearted but unfortunately devoid of humor. It's a shame to waste a potentially galvanizing subject on such self-indulgent and go-nowhere writing.

Rebecca Shaeffer
Houston

Crying for Space

Sad ending: Jim Schutze's column "Last Rites" [February 6] was bittersweet. The last paragraph moved me to tears.

M. A. Regier
Houston

Humanizing the pain: Of everything I've seen, read or heard, nothing brought me to tears like this story.

You brought it down to such a human level -- one that touched my heart in a way that CNN, local news, the paper, the pictures and Dan Rather could not.

Excellent writing.

Fran Cangialosi
Albuquerque, New Mexico

 
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