From Our Readers

Not Enough True Support for Springfield MGM

The people of Springfield have spoken—some of them, anyway. What happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas, unfortunately. It’s coming here: Welcome to MGM-Springfield. I wish I could be as optimistic as Michael Kogut of Citizens Against Casino Gaming claims to be (“Opponents: Casino Fight Far From Over,” Maureen Turner, July 25, 2013). The fate of the city is now in the hands of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Let us pray.

Optimistic or not, one can still make a strong case against bringing a casino to Springfield. Of those who voted (roughly 25 percent of registered voters), 58 percent said Yes to MGM casino gambling and 42 percent said No. Thus roughly 15 percent of registered voters said Yes. Should a decision of this magnitude be based on a less than 60 percent majority? Once casinos are built, they will not go away easily. This is a hugely transformative decision for Springfield, supported by only 15 percent of registered voters.

This is not a fait accompli. Let us hope that the Gaming Commission sees this in proper perspective, and takes into account the relatively small majority in favor of this misguided makeover affecting a city of 153,000 people and surrounding towns.

Why are so many so opposed to this? Casino gaming as a solution to society’s ills is a sign of desperation, of the utter failure by those in power to solve these problems. It will exploit the poor and delusional to benefit the wealthy few. I am not a gambling puritan. I am not even against legalizing gambling. What I oppose is turning a city like Springfield into a glitzy orgy of deluded dreams and cynical predation—all because city and state legislators cannot come up with real solutions to real problems.


A Better Comic Without the P Word

I am writing to ask E. J. Pettinger to consider more thoughtfully the language he uses next time he writes a Mild Abandon comic. The comic from July 18 featured a baby wearing a onesie with a skull picture on it. The caption said “Goo-Goo Apocalyptic—gear for babies who don’t want to look like pussies.” I understand that Mr. Pettinger was trying to be funny by presenting a contrast between the normally sweet and innocent clothing worn by babies and the scary flaming skull clothing worn by the baby in his cartoon. He was trying to be funny by clothing a baby, a person who evokes in others a desire to nurture and protect, in a scary and intimidating shirt. The caption was supposed to further emphasize the dichotomy between the grim and the cuddly with its label of the clothing line as “Goo-Goo Apocalyptic.” In Mr. Pettinger’s attempt to further add grittiness to the contrast, he tried to show that this type of clothing is worn by babies who are fearless. Unfortunately, he used the word “pussies” as a synonym for people who are fearful. I would argue that he could have effectively presented his comic without using that word. Pussy is word that is also used to refer to female genitalia and there can be harmful consequences when people come to associate women with cowardice


Punch Drunk Film Critic?

For the second time in less than a month, I am writing about a mistake made by your film critic Jack Brown. The name of the main character in Raging Bull is Jake LaMotta, not Ray LaMotta (“CinemaDope: Mideast Crisis,” July 18, 2013). Raging Bull is considered by many to be the best film of the 1980s. It’s laughable that the Valley Advocate employs a film critic who knows so little about film.  

Author: Advocate readers

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