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Recently in Letters

We love Gwyneth, we really love her; frat-house story shows homophobes were right

Why we should debunk the Kosovo myth; a cheapened April fool; defending the diva.

Political silencing is decidedly un-American; is Salon passing along Serbian propaganda?

Are Starr and Flynt unwitting allies? PLUS: Married to the M.D.; "expert" on U.S. military strategy derided.

Older women: Having kids and dating barely legal men; Milosevic must go!

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Charity @ the speed of thought

Reiter may well be a very nice and intelligent person, but Salon does not need a cutesy People-style gossipy fluff of a column. To date, Salon seems to have hit its stride with a focused combination of hard news, analysis and social commentary. Exactly what is "Nothing Personal" intended to accomplish?

-- Bernard G. Schneider

Amy Reiter must've been a bit desperate for material on April 5. Picking on Bill Gates for a charitable donation to help Kosovo refugees was petty and pointless. Sure, $1.5 million is a small percentage of the Microsoft mogul's net worth, but it's probably 100 percent more than Reiter's donation.

-- Rob Carson
Loveland, Colo.

The great Pretender

Very, very nice work. Chrissie Hynde scared this 19-year-old male back in 1980 (albeit in a good way). But I had good company: Pete Townshend, in that wonderful 1980 Rolling Stone interview (the one with the picture of his bloody hand pressed against his face, published back when that magazine meant something), expressed the same awe. I didn't need Squeeze to croak "it's a woman's world" -- as you so aptly illustrate, such matters were seemingly irrelevant to Chrissie (even her first name was at odds with the rest of her persona). But even then, in my less-evolved teenage male state, I thought there was something counterfeit about the commodification of Pat Benatar (and, of course, I couldn't stand the music), while Blondie left me cold. Your article rightly crowns Chrissie, putting her at the head of the class.

Although I was never a huge fan, that band was special. I refuse to allow the output since 1984 (even Johnny Marr couldn't help re-create the magic, and other than "Last of the Independents" I haven't purchased anything since "Learning to Crawl") to tar her contribution, because what she gave me circa 1980-82 was more than sufficient: It kicked me in the ass and reminded me that all of the "new wave" bands I listened to (remember the Lambrettas or the Headboys?) were, although well-intentioned, the real pretenders. Thanks so much for the "shiver of recognition."

-- Fred Harring

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