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Week of December 27, 2000

Road Rage
Take it off the road: As a motorcycle rider with over 30 years' experience, I would like to comment on the activities of the Streetfighterz stunt riders [Bruce Rushton, "Speed Demons," RFT, Dec. 13]. The point that these guys don't seem to get is that while they have the right to risk their own necks if they so choose, they do not have the right to risk my neck or those of other motorists who are sharing the road with them.

If a stunt goes wrong, even a 400-pound motorcycle colliding with a car at high speed can harm the occupants. And even if a stunt goes right, performing it in traffic can cause drivers to react in unpredictable ways, causing death or injury to others. You also anger motorists, who, however irrationally, sometimes redirect that anger at me and other "normal" bikers. Take it off the public roads, Streetfighterz!
Eric Stein
St. Louis

People die because of screw-offs like these guys: As a former St. Louis resident, I take advantage of the Internet to read the Riverfront Times online every week. Usually I'm impressed not only by the content of the articles you include but also by the diverse subject matter the paper chooses to cover. However, your "Speed Demons" was a disappointment to me.

While I'm sure that many readers enjoyed the descriptions of the riders' technical skills and tricks, I can't help but wonder if the tone of the article glorifies these antics. These men make the choice to take their lives into their own hands every time they ride; however, by performing daredevil stunts on public roadways, they also risk the lives of other motorists. If you visit their Web site (, you can view a clip of the motorist riding in between two cars on the highway. I wonder how the drivers of those cars reacted to that incident?

Millions of people die each year because people screw around on our roadways. I think it was a bad decision for the RFT to give publicity to a group that disrespects the law and the safety of other citizens.
Rebecca Thurmond
Columbia, Mo.

Fungal Progeny
Where do Catholic babies come from? In "The Naked Truth," [Byron Kerman, RFT, Dec. 13], Mallarie Zimmer is quoted as saying that her sex performance art is hidden in St. Louis because of the strong Catholic history and, to Catholicism, "sexuality is sort of frowned upon and guilt-ridden."

That's an interesting statement, given that Catholics are stereotypically pictured as having big families. Where do all these children come from? Do they drop from mushrooms?
Louis Giovino
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
New York City

Beat This!
What election? The high court appointed Bush: Now is the time for U.S. Sen. Christopher Bond to holler and scream, "Outrageous!" and even beat his dick on the lectern if he likes [Ray Hartmann, "The Taking of the Presidency," RFT, Dec. 20]. The headlines of newspapers across the nation on Dec. 13, from morning to evening editions, should have read: "U.S. Supreme Court Appoints Gov. Bush of Texas President of the United States!"

History will not look kindly upon the Election 2000 experience.
Fred Boeneker

Still Alive
Drake's music stands the test of time: The article about Nick Drake asks, "Would songs like these still be prized had Drake simply faded away instead of flickering out in the way that he did?" [Michael Roberts, "Born to Die," RFT, Dec. 20]. My answer is a resounding yes!

I first picked up Pink Moon about five years ago and knew nothing about Nick's history. I immediately declared the album a masterpiece and proceeded to buy the other releases. Of course, I eventually learned his story, which, I admit, does add to the mystique of the music, but I know that had he stuck around on this planet, he would have not just faded away ... The music is too good to have been ignored for very long.
Doug Whyte
via the Internet

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