Letters

Readers sound off.

Corrections and Apologies I was a bit surprised by the response we got to our sendup of the “Monty Python” nude organist routine. This column is dedicated to those responses. Those for which there was no room can be found in “More Letters” on the LJ web site. I was particularly amazed that some people took this as “sexual” and therefore obscene. The Post Office and our newsstand distributors all cleared this cover as non-offensive. Our only intent was to have a bit of fun, and we are sorry to have offended anyone. By the way, guys, what do you think of the May 1 cover of VARBusiness?

Python Supplement Responses

I loved the Python supplement to LJ. We should do something like this again soon. I just got an e-mail from Mike O'Dell, senior VP and chief scientist at UUNET, who told me, “your article restores my hope for humanity” and “this almost makes me feel good enough to write a program!”

I mentioned this to Andrew Kuchling, and he mentioned some negative feedback you've received. I wonder what that was about? The python.org web site received a flame from someone offended by the naked man on the cover, and in the edu-sig, there was a discussion (not a flamewar!) of gender stereotypes, but in general I've seen mostly positive responses and encouraging words.

—Guido van Rossumguido@python.org

I just want to congratulate you on the excellent Python supplement included with the May edition of the best Linux magazine around!

I am not a professional programmer, but after reading the excellent articles included in said supplement, I was buzzing to get down to some serious programming using Python! I do not know what, but there was something in the way the articles written that just excited me!

Everything that comes out of the Linux community seems to always be bursting with energy and excitement. I looove it!! Keep up the excellent work!

—Rui Pinhor.pinho@ic.ac.uk

I've been very pleased with my subscription to Linux Journal over the past three-plus years, but I was particularly unimpressed with the cover of the Special Supplement included with the May 2000 issue.

Not only did I find it unprofessional and distasteful, but it was also somewhat embarrassing to receive a magazine at my office with male nudity on the cover.

I hope you'll accept this as constructive criticism and will carefully consider future covers. There are many other tasteful alternatives that would have better served the reputation of your otherwise fine publication.

—Doug Ledbetterdougl@mnu.edu

I just got my new Linux Journal, and was shocked at what I found on the cover of the Special Supplement. I hope the Linux Journal isn't going to start doing things for shock value. Please don't. (The secretary got a thrill out of it, though.) I actually took a marker and drew in some clothes.

—Walter Williamswwilliams@mountain-cad.com

What were you thinking displaying a picture of a naked person on the cover of your supplement? A lot of people (like me) receive this magazine at work. It's hard enough for me to get people in this company to take Linux seriously (especially with the ridiculous penguin logo). Now I have to get funny looks and explain to people (including my boss) why I get magazines with pictures of naked men on them sent to me at work.

It's a poor attempt at humor. Some of us have to work in a professional environment, and this damn near cost me my job.

—Phil Garrettpgarrett@hillmgt.com

Nice cover on the May 2000 issue! Love those penguinistas raining down on Redmond. And keep those Python articles coming!

—Darryldarryl@igor.penguinpowered.com

The cover is repulsive and offensive. It is very inappropriate in the business environment. If you wanted to get our attention, you did! We will not renew our subscription and I sure don't understand the logic behind this.

—Ed Hutchinsonehutch@raex.com

Hi there. I don't currently subscribe to Linux Journal, but I do use computers and the UNIX OS quite a bit. Anyway, I went to your web site and saw the cover of the Python supplement. I just wanted to say, good for you, guys! Geeks have long been bombarded with images of naked women, often anatomically impossible images at that, and it's about time we had some naked men for nerd girls to look at. :)

—Jina Chanjina@speakeasy.org

Must say, this is the first issue of Linux Journal I've ever read, despite being a Linux fan and having Tux propaganda in my cubicle at work. It was really nice to see the running Python gag throughout ... technical journals can be so dull! Thank you for having a sense of humor, at least once in a while.

As for the cover ... if hot-rod magazines can have barely clad women on the cover, I say “Yay!” to cute naked men on the cover of computer journals! About time. If more computer journals had naked guys in them, I might read more of them. ;) Oh wait, I'm supposed to say, “I only read it for the articles.” Yeah, that's it. But really, the cover is very nicely done ... dare I say tastefully silly with a large dash of cute?

—Lady Lilithlilith@serv.net

Thanks for all of your good work.

I'm a student assistant at SVC Mt.Vernon in electronics—we've been doing a pilot Linux project since summer. Part of my assisting deals with cookbook programming for hardware types.

We'd like to order 12 reprints of the Python add-on from this month's issue. Thanks.

—Kip Johnsonkiptech7@netscape.net

I'm no homophobe or fundamentalist wacko, but the supplement cover is too much! The first thing I saw was some naked guy, and I really thought it was someone's gay porn magazine put in my box by mistake.

Seeing that the readership of the magazine is probably 90% male, I would have preferred to see a naked female or at least one in a thong bikini. :)

I'm not sure what to do with the supplement, other than put a sticker on it so that others, who see it lying on my desk at work, don't also think it's a gay porn magazine.

You crazy Linux guys!

Great magazine by the way, keep up the good work. And remember—90% male readership.

—Neal Richternrichter@bridgernet.com

This is regarding your answers to letters published in the May 2000 Linux Journal defending the BSD Daemon babes. In your response to Jordan Hubbard, you stated regarding your past attendance at oil industry conventions:

“I was offended that women were being used as sex objects and that men were considered stupid enough to fall for such tactics.”

I am offended by people so full of themselves and their elitist, high-minded social agenda that they actually believe that those poor slobs at trade shows need someone to be offended for them! I looked at the pictures Jason posted on the web. What the hell is the problem? Get over yourself!

Oh, but that's not all. When one of the actual models writes in support of her role, you scold her for actually having fun at the show:

“Perhaps when you start thinking of yourself as a woman instead of a girl, you will understand...”

But wait, there's more! What's on the cover of the Special Supplement included with the issue? A completely naked man sitting in a field. Oops, he's wearing a bowtie. The hypocrisy and irony here is stifling.

Am I offended? Of course not! Worried about what my postal carrier might think, but not offended; for me, for him or for anyone, because I have a life.

We have a God-given and constitutionally protected right to free speech in the U.S., though it's dwindling daily, a luxury some of the readers of your magazine don't enjoy. Well, along with free speech goes the right to offend and be offended, if you so choose. Isn't America great? Go burn a bra or something...

Does this, like, totally squash my chances of ever getting published in LJ?

—Keith Brownbahalana@wt.net

I find the cover of the May 2000 Special Supplement to be in excruciatingly poor taste, bordering on the obscene. It is not what I expect of a semi-technical publication.

Cancel my subscription and refund the balance of the current subscription payment.

—Stephen P. Molnar, Ph.D.smolnar@jadeinc.com

I must say that what arrived in my mail with the latest issue of your magazine was quite a shock! To see a naked person on the front of the mailing is very offensive to say the least. I have a young daughter, and I wouldn't care for her to see such a sight. Can you imagine if I took a copy of this to my workplace and left it in plain view on my desk? I would be looking for another job, because of sexual harassment! If your magazine must resort to these methods to sell copies, then I will choose not to renew my subscription, and I will move to a more professional publication.

—Wesley Harmonagharmon@bellsouth.net

It's a bit difficult to take your shrill comments on sexism seriously, since you are the editor-in-chief of a magazine that just published an issue with a nude man on the cover.

—David Rodvolddrodvold@xaim.com

Loved the Python Special Issue cover. Keep up the good work.

—Stephen Bachseb2t@jm.acs.virginia.edu

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