Opinion: May 29, 2019

Plus letters to the editor

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

GT Managing Editor Lauren Hepler usually drops things on my desk after she’s given them a read, and when I got this week’s delivery, she had scrawled at the top, in red pen, “This is great! And I usually hate stories about Millennials.” Well, of course she hates stories about Millennials; not so much because she is one, but because they are almost always terrible—lazy, condescending and full of shallow stereotypes.

What’s great about Mike Huguenor’s cover story this week is that it’s none of those things. If you were expecting “Now Millennials have screwed up nostalgia, too” or some such nonsense, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how he’s taken the phenomenon of ’90s nostalgia and used it as a jumping-off point to talk about the very nature of nostalgia itself. Why do we long for a particular era—especially when, as Huguenor lays out in this story, that era didn’t actually exist the way we’ve reconstructed it? And what happens when our nostalgia creates such an unreal reflection of the past that its almost futurism? I’m telling you, this is heady stuff for a piece that starts out talking about a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game! Enjoy!

Letters to the Editor

Nextdoors of Perception

I take issue with Nuz’s determinations regarding Nextdoor. In a recent issue of Good Times, Nuz refers to an in-depth piece of explanatory journalism by Vox. I go on the Nextdoor site every day, and have had many wonderful encounters. These are just a few: I helped form a group to successfully end a homeless encampment from opening in a park around the corner from the Boardwalk. I learned about important City Council meetings I needed to participate in and encouraged my neighbors to attend. Along with my neighbors, I have been a source of encouragement to Beer Thirty to open a much-needed new brewery to replace the decrepit old Wienerschnitzel building on Soquel, and rejoiced with a neighbor recently when she found her missing cat. I was informed of when coyotes are particularly active in my neighborhood, and offered advice of how to keep one’s dog safe from attacks. I was given, for free, a Graco baby bed when I requested to buy one, and loaned a metal birdcage to a grateful neighbor who needed it for an event.

Most importantly, I had dozens of my neighbors help me to locate a certain lollipop I was seeking! Yes, Nextdoor does give a fair amount of warnings about troubles in our neighborhoods, but I like to be informed of them, and who better to give an honest telling than my own neighbors, and I find no better way to connect with them. I have not once encountered a single racial slur on all of my Nextdoor visits.

I suggest that Nuz should not rely on Vox, but do its own explanatory journalism before making presumptions of a site he clearly has not visited himself.

El Solway
Santa Cruz

Far From Free

Diane Warren’s eloquent letter (GT, 4/24) was spot on regarding the negative influence of “free market” dogma on efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation, but didn’t address the fundamental flaws in that dogma itself. The “free marketeers” revere Adam Smith, but rarely read him. He well understood that unregulated markets do not long remain free. “The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers.” Thus a certain amount of reasonable regulation is necessary to ensure the competition of a truly free market. The dogma of “free markets” is actually a scam perpetrated by self-righteous profiteers.

Mordecai Shapiro
Santa Cruz

Talking Point

This is in regards to the Local Talk question “If you could name a beer after our current White House administration, what would it be?” (GT, 4/22). Here are my 2 names:

  1. Redacted Beer
  2. No Collusion Brew

Sid Thompson
Santa Cruz Musician

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