Favorite past times

I found your articles about Queens very interesting [Queens for a Day , Dec. 23]. I grew up in East Elmhurst, not far from the World’s Fair. I can still remember it, especially the Belgian waffles. Also, East Elmhurst was where Malcolm X raised his family. Though I was under the age of nine, I remember when his home was bombed because it took the back side of our cherished candy store, Moe’s, owned by a European-immigrant couple. This is where we purchased our penny candy. This was all very puzzling as a young child.

Thanks for the insight.

Lorelei Anderson-Francis

Orlando, Fla.

Smells like mean spirit

All of us were quite disappointed by the article that was printed regarding our service and our faith, Spiritualism [ Grateful for the Dead, Dec. 2]. Words were reported out of context, and the overall tone of the article was one of mocking and unfairness. I can only think Ambrose Clancy could not find a real problem with our tenets and so had to resort to personal downgrading.

I wish to thank you for a lesson learned. Before we again allow anyone to observe for purposes of “reporting” our service, we will check out the publication and the reporter.

I do find it very sad that Mr. Clancy had to bring down the basic beliefs of the majority of people in our world, knocking those who “depend on a belief in virgin birth and God having a son” and describing an “obscure desert tribe was chosen by the Deity who contracted only with them.”

And while our actual religion was formed in the 1800s (and we are a recognized member of the National Council of Churches in this country, as well as a practiced and recognized religion worldwide), proof of our beliefs are found in the Bible and other sacred texts written through the ages—a belief system as old as mankind. While we prove communication with the “so-called” dead is a fact (and, yes, they are concerned with all we do here on Earth and messages can by cryptic) and believe that life goes on after “death,” one of our basic beliefs is one that is universal: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you—the Golden Rule.

So I send loving light to Mr. Clancy and hope he finds peace, comfort, joy and the answers he needs in life for true happiness. I will consider the rest of what I saw in your publication and thank you once again for the lesson we have learned.

Patricia Anne Duffield


Life is unfair

I attended the Rage Against the Machine concert at the Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 3 and I was extremely surprised and disappointed at the lack of intelligence and respect for a woman’s body. I guess what the “cool thing to do” at large-scale concerts these days if you’re a male on Long Island is to encourage the women around you to show the entire crowd their breasts. And if you’re a female, I would assume that the “cool thing to do” is to make these testosterone-filled steroid-freak idiots happy and do what they want you to do. Whenever I go to concerts lately, this happens almost all the time. However, I thought that since I was at a Rage Against the Machine concert, a band that stands for intelligence and equality, that maybe there would also be fans who believed in similar issues. Much to my dismay, this did not occur.

It does take two to play this game. Woman after woman obliged to these demands, and after each of these women did, I wondered what was wrong with the picture. Another part of the show that made me wonder was the crowd’s reaction to the band’s stance on Mumia Abu-Jamal. After RATM recited his name, there was a chorus of boos, chants of “cop-killer” and many words that shouldn’t be repeated. The last time RATM played in our area, it was a benefit for Mr. Abu-Jamal in which the band took lots of criticism for supporting a convicted cop-killer.

Why do these people, who do not believe in the same things as RATM, an extremely politically active band, come out and spend $31.50 to support it? I would rather the band play in front of a smaller audience that is educated and informed about the world than in front of the idiotic and ignorant audience that nearly sold out the Coliseum that night. If you were to ask any of those people who Leonard Peltier is or who Che Guevera was, probably less than one-eighth of the crowd would have known. Nor would they be familiar with the fact that their nice plaid shirts are made by workers in sweatshops. And I highly doubt that they are familiar with the fact that in the country of Sudan, there still exists a form of slavery. So instead of listening to RATM because its live show provides a method for breaking someone’s nose or because it will make up for missing a couple of football practices, the uneducated portion of their fans should actually do some research and find out what machine we are all raging against.

Paul Turano

North Babylon