Net: In our continuing effort to print only the most reliable information, we offer to you today’s letters.

From Scooby’s Lesbian Friend Velma, a.k.a. Peppermint Patty:
Anyone who (even in jest) mocks the genius of Wayne Wang as presented in his movie masterpiece “The Pillow Book” is truly an ignoramus. Net: Looks like you’re the ignoramus, Velma/Patty. Wayne Wang didn’t direct “The Pillow Book” — PETER GREENAWAY did. Although, we do agree that it was a great film — better than “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” which he (not Wayne Wang) also directed. I personally went to see it for FULL PRICE Net: Then you’re a sucker. The first showing of the day is discounted at the Lagoon Theater Net: Cinema. It’s Lagoon Cinema. You should have seen it when it was at the Uptown Theater because the screen’s bigger three days in a row. OK, so there’s a couple Net: A couple? You obviously can’t count, either. There’s full monty for every chapter of the book of somewhat shocking frontal nudity scenes involving samurai wrestler types. Net: And Ewen McGregor, who has the most nude scenes, is a samurai wrestler type? They were instrumental in the plot, and thus palatable to anyone with high aesthetic standards and an ability to appreciate movies that don’t star Bruce Willis Net: You got a problem with “Pulp Fiction”? or Pamela Lee Net: She’s only done “Barb Wire.” It’s not as if she has inundated filmgoers.
And so a publisher goes overboard and makes a dude’s skin into a book. When you’re dead, you wouldn’t rather be a beautiful “Ed Gein/The Bound Works” piece of art than simply an embalmed and puffy-moist cadaver in an overpriced casket and cemetery plot? I think not? Yes? Net: What’s with these question marks? These aren’t questions. What about the hobby held dear to many a huntin’ n fishin’ Minnesota guy — the stuffing of your dead fish and dead deer heads and dead birds? It’s not so different. Not at all.
If the calligraphy on skin fetish upon which the movie is based is so far out there, so unacceptable and unpalatable, then why are so many milquetoast suburban folks now riding the tattoo fad? Look around you — even thin Americans (fat ones too) are following the mantra of the Pillow Book gospel.
Heil Wayne Wang! Recant the “Chinese Box” and dig deep for a “Pillow Book II.” Net: To clarify, Wayne Wang made “The Joy Luck Club” and “Smoke,” NOT “The Pillow Book.”
We all hunger for more of your eye-candy, my beautiful Chinese god. I’m starting a fan club today Net: Then you’re starting a fan club for the wrong director, you idiot, and if you sport a tattoo, think about who might be planning your post-mortem, book. Net: But “The Pillow Book” isn’t about tattoos. The lead character just writes on top of the men’s skin with normal ink. Don’t you remember the scene when the rain smeared one of her chapters? For someone who saw the film three times, you obviously weren’t paying very close attention. If you catch somebody gazing a bit too lovingly at your ankle or armband tattoo at the next frat party, be careful not to drink too much. You could wake up with part of your nicely tanned-from-spring-break integument missing. SLICE! DRY? Net: Huh? BIND! SLICE! DRY! BIND! There’s probably a division within our fine art department on bookmaking, and within that, there’s probably a subdivision of skin books. This IS a diverse and liberal campus community. Net: Yeah, maybe the med school and studio arts department can work out some sort of cadaver-sharing program. Great idea! You should run for MSA president next year, since you obviously have such brilliant strategies for campus improvement.

From Hey Jude: I am not one to usually run around telling people they’re wrong, but your comparison of Jeff Davis to Hitler is appalling. Net: You’re right. Hitler worked his slaves to death, while Jeff Davis took care of his slaves so their children could be slaves, too.
The Civil War was not fought over slavery, and the Confederacy was not founded on the principle that African-Americans were inherently slaves; rather, it centered around the issue of states’ rights and federalism. The confederacy believed it was beyond the power of the federal government to force the states into any single national policy Net: Specifically about slavery, and they believed that according to the Constitution the confederacy was right. But South Carolina pushed the issue further by taking the position that they could leave the union Net: To protect slavery, it was their right.
After that, Lincoln was no longer in any mood to compromise and fortified his position. The rest of the states’ rights states then left the union Net: To protect slavery, and war erupted.
Please further the overall goals of educating the public and bringing public service announcements to the attention of the University as a whole and dispel the erroneous notion that the Civil War was fought over slavery. Net: OK. You’ve just advanced the Civil-War-wasn’t-about-slavery argument used up until the ’60s, when we wanted to pretend black rights weren’t important so we could look the other way on segregation. But while the issue of states’ rights was undoubtedly a major factor in bringing war, slavery was the institution that exacerbated states’ rights disagreements. The North and South were evolving different cultures and different economic systems. That, in itself, wasn’t enough to cause war. Slavery was the touch point.
If you think 750,000 Americans died simply over interpretation of the Constitution, fine. But most contemporary scholars disagree with you. And your interpretation overlooks the fanatical racism that persisted in the American South long after other societies had begun to come to grips with other races. Not that the rest of the world was perfect, but plenty of people in 1861 were aware that the “peculiar institution” was immoral — enough to make the actions of folks like Jeff Davis inexcusable.
Jeff’s memory, and his ideas, live on. Where his soul is, is anyone’s guess. Have a nice day.