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I’m sorry that Bill Bloxham was so upset by my mild correction of Mark Burger’s use of Chinese naming conventions in his review of A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop [Nov. 17, 2010]. Bloxham’s idea of a zinger seems to consist of faulting me for formatting and copy-editing errors that are beyond the control of anyone submitting a letter to the editor. As for his objection to my use of the word “behooves,” I’ve no idea what he was trying to say and am not entirely convinced he knows, either. But I can’t resist responding to his parting shot:


“Mark Burger seems to attract more than his share of readers willing to help him advance as a writer. First Shertzer, now this guy McDowell. Well, guys, Mark is being paid to put ink to paper. You?” I can’t speak for Shertzer, but I’m indeed paid to put ink to paper, even if the process only rarely involves either ink or paper on my end. I’ve been paid for two novels, three educational workbooks, dozens of short stories, a handful of book reviews and, most relevant to this discussion, two cover stories for YES! Weekly. However, much of this publication’s freelance content, while certainly professional and commendable, is unpaid, and I think I can say that Shertzer and myself made just as much money for writing our respective letters to the editor as Burger did for the review that inspired them. I’m sure that Burger had a good laugh at Bloxham’s Bizarro World belief that being paid for something makes one impervious to criticism from those who aren’t. If he agreed with anything that foolish, he could hardly be a film critic, could he?

And yes, I’m well aware that such a long-winded and touchy response makes me sound rather like the Rhino’s Uncle Orson; no doubt there are novels about naked zero gravity boy-on-boy action in my future.

Ian McDowell, Greensboro



Regarding this senator who was busted for two DWIs in a two-day period, what was this moron thinking?


He was caught the second time around 400 trick-or-treaters. If this man had been elected to the Senate, he more than likely would have been caught again once in Raleigh thinking he can get by with anything he chooses.

It is a great thing that he was caught before he hit somebody possibly taking an innocent life or doing some major damage to somebody’s property or possibly killing himself.

I realize he has apologized but there are some instances like this one when an apology is just not enough. I hope he has the book thrown at him for being so stupid as to be caught two times within a 24-hour period of time. And hope he will not get a slap on the back from the judge when he has his court date.

This should be a hard lesson for anyone who is contemplating driving while impaired. Do yourself a favor and do not drink and drive. It will save you a lot of guilt and a lot of money for sure.

Steven M. Shelton, Greensboro



Greg Taylor’s story is a good example of why the death penalty should be abolished [“Ed Taylor’s boy”; Dec. 8, 2010; by Brian Clarey]. The best way to prevent to execution of an innocent person is to eliminate all executions.


It really bothers me during this holiday season that some Christians support executions. I’m pretty sure that Jesus opposed torture and executions. He once said, “Whatever you do to the least among men, you also do to me.”

No government should have the power or the right to strap somebody down and kill them, especially if there is the chance that they may be innocent.

Chuck Mann, Greensboro

Fatal Vision was authored by Joe McGinnis not James Blackburn.

Sincerely, Bob Costello

Editor replies: YES! Weekly regrets the error.