Those lucky enough to have found the ABL know that it's like discovering a five-star restaurant in your neighborhood with diner prices and no reservations required. Now ABL fans must pray that this refreshing alternative to hyped hoops doesn't close for lack of customers.

Cynthia Lucas
Austin, Texas

Bring Da Noise

Thanks to Alisa Solomon for her great story on the ABL. I am a Nashville Noise fan, and believe the lack of TV exposure on ESPN and NBC is an example of gutlessness and capitulation to the megabucks of David Stern and the NBA.

Additionally, ABL players do a lot for their communities. Stories about these players wouldn't necessarily come from police reports.

Jack Cate
Nashville, Tennessee

Soul To Spare

Peter Noel's article about our brother Kwame Ture ["Soul on Ice," November 24] was very interesting, although not totally accurate.

The reason K.T. (as many of us affectionately called him) was one of the most respected revolutionaries in the world was because he never tired of fighting for all of the oppressed people of the world. His commitment was probably unmatched; his organizing skills the best; his critical thinking razor sharp; his laughter warm and touching.

The greatness of any leader can be measured by the organizations that the man or woman is affiliated with. Kwame Ture aligned himself with two of the strongest, most revolutionary pan-Africanist political parties: the Democratic Party of Guinea and the All-African Peoples' Revolutionary Party. He was the only activist to have the distinction of sitting on the central committees of both of these political parties.

What distinguished K.T. from other activists of his generation was that he continued to grow and change, personally and politically. Some from the '60s fought the system to join it or to reform it; our dear brother K.T., on the other hand, fought the system until his last precious breath to destroy it! He did not seek money, political office, or an honorary chair. He just loved our people, especially young people, and he gave himself, encouraging others to do the same.

Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture
Washington, D.C.

Full Nelson

Thanks to Robert Christgau for his fine article on Willie Nelson ["The Unflashiest," November 17].

I was lucky enough to see Nelson in Providence, Rhode Island, earlier this year. Like Christgau, it was my first live Nelson show, having taken him for granted for way too many years. I couldn't believe how great the show was! Even four versions of "Whiskey River" only added to its beauty.

I hope the piece inspired readers to buy Nelson's latest CD, Teatro, as well as treasures from the past.

Kate Martins
Boston, Massachusetts

Sand Storm

Peter Braunstein, in his article on Adam Sandler ["Everybody Pays the Fool," November 24], writes: "Many people tend to approach Adam Sandler's success and the crisis in American education as two sides of the same issue."

I consider myself pretty well- educated: some grad school, a tech job, and I read 150 to 200 books a year. Yet I like Sandler's movies.

Why? Because they are an enjoyable 90 minutes of idiocy. Sometimes, after a long week, a belly laugh is just what the doctor ordered.

Try enjoying these films for what they are: big cream-filled puff pastries of vapid sweetness. Not necessarily a good steady diet, but if you just watched Paul Schrader movies, you'd die from intellectual constipation.

Mike Klotz
Princeton, New Jersey

Base Beck

RJ Smith, in his review of Beck's new CD, Mutations ["Beck to the Base," November 24], writes that the album is light on Beck's signature sampling and shows a "new focus on emotion."

As a Brazilian who is a student in the U.S., I can tell you that what Smith fails to mention is that the new sound borrows heavily from bossa nova, specifically, the '60s Brazilian rock group Os Mutantes, or Mutations, the very title of Beck's album.

Tropicalia is the name that was given long ago to this musical movement, which blends electric guitars with traditional Brazilian instruments.

Manuela Leal

Going Down

Wayne Barrett's fictional conversation between Senator D'Amato, Governor Pataki, and Ed Koch as they were stuck in an elevator on election night ["The 1998 Wacko Awards," November 24] was brilliant satire and an original piece of journalism.

Christopher Chichester
Guilderland, New York

Kiss & Fell

Although William Bastone bestowed a 1998 Wacko Award on the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest lesbian and gay rights group, for its endorsement of Al D'Amato, it seems possible that the organization knew its endorsement would be the kiss of death for D'Amato. It didn't win D'Amato any lesbian or gay votes, as Bastone's Wacko item pointed out. Perhaps the Human Rights Campaign thought it would cost him right-wing votes.

Jessea Greenman
Oakland, California

Slack Hacks

Re Edmund Lee's "Cracking the Code of Ethics" [November 17]: So-called hacker Kevin Mitnick broke the law when he stole 20,000 credit card numbers and should be punished for his crime, but I agree with "old guard" hackers that it's unfair that he has been held in jail since 1995 without a trial.

I run a small nationwide group of hackers and phreaks. Our core values are practically identical to the majority of "old guard" hackers out there. Like Hosaka, founder of the hacker crew ROOt, said, "All we're about is hanging out, exchanging information, and teaching each other new things."

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