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Past the Rant

I always look forward to picking up a Memphis Flyer when I pick up my Memphis Pizza. Food for thought and vice versa. Unfortunately, I enjoy my reading and my pizza at a leisurely pace. Inevitably, I am left with one cold slice and "The Rant."

Greater Memphis suffers many fools gladly, but Randy Haspel occupies a planet of discontent and absurd rage toward which Prince Mongo dare not point his rocket. Haspel's catalog of complaints in the June 23rd issue reads like a who's who and what's what of American villains and faults. The reader is subjected to a panorama of people, places, presidents, wars, television shows, and movies that occupy some wrong or evil place in the national yearbook. It is remarkable that Haspel's very personal complaint is breathlessly assembled within the space of 1,000 words. What a long and whining road trip.

I won't gratify Haspel by dropping the easy "we-have-the-best-standard-of-living-in-the-world-and-folks-are-beating-the-door-to-get-in" jazz. The more logical retort is that people are people, everywhere and anytime, and after puberty all bets are off. Humans are born with original sin — or if you prefer, jerks from the jump. Americans have done a pretty good job of shaking some of it off, but we remain imperfect. There lies the timeless challenge for the furious scribe.

There are many outlets for anger born of frustration. Exercise and booze come to mind. Writing, without complementary satire, parody, or a point, solves nothing and entertains no one. The problem with the writer is he never got a Davy Crockett coonskin cap for his birthday or read MAD magazine. Instead of sitting under a harvest moon and enjoying its simple beauty, he howled about Neil Armstrong being a Columbus fascist.

Hey, I bet Randy is a swell guy, and once his parents quit ragging him about the window unit in the basement, he'll settle down. The prescription for someone who expresses contempt with such fervor is a long stroll. Give the keyboard a rest. You're past the rant and that is wrong.

Tom Hammond

Germantown

Gays and Marriage

I do not understand the problem about gays not being able to get married. My definition of marriage is "an inconvenient financial arrangement." What a great excuse gays have for not getting married.

I am all for anybody being able to get married who wants to, but with all the contracts that are signed these days prior to nuptials, what's the difference between a marriage and a civil union? One does not have to be married in order to have a romantic association.

In addition, please, news shows, writers, and anybody with a voice, stop telling us about everybody's flings. Who cares?

Also, please quit telling me about every politician's religion. I would vote for ANYBODY, even a Republican (that's going some for me), who, when asked what their religion is, answered, "None of your business."

Dagmar Bergan

Helena, Arkansas

Entitlements

In the world of GOP-speak, Social Security and Medicare are called entitlements. The Republicans would like you to believe they are welfare programs doled out to us undeserving, ungrateful peasants as largesse from the Mother State.

Check your annual Social Security statement to see who is really paying those bills. After paying into the system for 40 years, you have paid in a six-figure number, at least. How do Republicans and the Tea Party get welfare out of this?

The hefty amounts we pay in are obligations, and the money we receive back from Social Security after retirement is definitely not welfare. The GOP's actions are an affront to the millions of American workers who pay for every cent of Social Security and Medicare they receive.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City, California

Meat and potatoes

Who would have thunk it? Meat and potatoes, the basic staple of the American diet, are now held responsible for our growing obesity epidemic.

A federally funded Harvard University analysis of data collected over 20 years from more than 120,000 Americans found that meat and potatoes were the main culprits in weight gain, while fruits, vegetables, and nuts prevented weight gain. The analysis was published in the current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. So much for the meat industry's claim of high-nutrient density for their product. It's more like high-weight density.

So, the next time the fast food clerk asks, "Do you want fries with that?" tell him to hold the greasy hamburger and give you a nice salad instead.

Trevor Faust Memphis

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