Who are you calling a punk?! That seemed to be the foremost question from readers who had plenty to shout about our in-your-face cover of teenypopper Avril Lavigne (#680, Nov. 1). ”I hope to God that cover was a parody,” declares a wary Michael Bastedo of Palo Alto, Calif. Jaysen Pauley of Omaha also didn’t understand what the fuss was about: ”This new movement in rock is just the same thing as Britney or Backstreet with a little dirt on it and a necktie.” Lavigne’s punk posturing raised a few black flags, too. ”Referring to a corporate rock stooge like Avril Lavigne as ‘punk’ is a slap in the face to punk-rock pioneers like the Ramones, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols,” says Kevin Woods of Tampa. Mark Wolfe, of Charleston, W.Va., agrees: ”Punk is the very opposite of Ms. Lavigne. It’s loud, rude, vulgar, obscene, unpopular, unpretty, and thought-provoking!” That sounds a lot like our cover!

Punk Heap

You forgot to mention one thing in the summary of Avril Lavigne on your cover — she’s good! As for the reason why she’s popular (along with Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton), it’s no mystery: They’ve got musical talent. STEPHEN V. GILMORE Charlotte, N.C.

As much as I am grateful to have a young girl riding the airwaves wearing a decent amount of clothing and not epileptically gyrating, it’s a shame to see that she seems to think music began somewhere around 1998. I could name you scores of high school students who do know who the Sex Pistols are, not to mention the Clash, the Damned, and the Buzzcocks. So perhaps she shouldn’t blame her ignorance on age but rather on apathy. How punk rock. APRIL BROWN Jonesboro, Ark.

”She’s punk!”? ”She’s pop!”? She’s in my face? Obviously, judging by the skewed headlines and extreme close-up. This has got to be your least attractive cover in years. TODD DETMOLD Gambier, Ohio

EW, what happened to you this week? I guess you involuntarily heard one too many Avril songs on the radio and they (temporarily) destroyed your logical thinking. Avril Lavigne is a poor role model (look at me, I am a cool high school dropout who wears neckties) and an even poorer musician to boot. PAULA BRACHMAN Glen Mills, Pa.

I hate to be nitpicky, but I noticed a small error. Avril, in fact, does not rock. ADAM RUSKOWITZ Kansas City, Kan.

‘Everwood’ Working

Thank you so much for your wonderful article on my favorite new show, Everwood (”Rocky Mountain High”). The cast is so talented at creating characters to whom I have become emotionally attached. Thank you for giving this show the attention it deserves. Gregory Smith is truly incredible, and I must say Mr. Williams lives up to his first name. KELLY M. DODSON Richmond, Va.

I’m not usually a fan of the so-called family programs; they tend to be too treacly for me. But Gregory Smith is one of the best new actors I’ve ever seen. He carries the show on his slim shoulders with dignity and grace. I’m no spring chicken and I’ve been divorced three times, but this show makes me believe in first love again. BELINDA TYLER North Hollywood, Calif.