Letters for July 10, 2003

Hollywood hijacked

A couple of days ago, I visited the website he set up to promote his actions. I used the scripted page I found there to send a response against his actions to Gov. Bush and other politicians. I had checked the box requesting that a confirmation copy be sent to my mailbox when the message(s) were delivered. I never received such copies.

Perhaps Mr. Foley believes he can polish his image in the eyes of the party bosses and voters by taking on a family business instead of a real problem. His sexual orientation would have had no impact on my opinion of his political ability. His apparent attempt to distract us from the issue has turned me firmly against him.

I for one will speak against him at every opportunity and vote against him in the coming election as well as all elections that he may enter in the future.

Robert Swinson

Lantana

Get off your stilted horse:Jeff Stratton equates multiculturalism, lack of fan base, and even elitism as causes for the temporary demise of the Florida Philharmonic (Bandwidth, May 8, 15, and 22). Not only do I disagree but I find his comments to be typical of the shortsighted and intellectually lacking discourse on classical music so common to the citizenry of South Florida. I find that his multicultural and elitist argument has no grounds. I love classical music, and so do many of my closest friends and relatives. These people include elitists like my mother the factory worker and my father the truck driver. In other cities, including rich and conservative San Francisco and Seattle, the classical music scene is doing quite well, even with a lackluster economy. It may surprise Mr. Stratton that some of the people who love classical music happen to be Hispanic, black, young, poor, and even cool.

The issue is depth, Mr. Stratton. Classical music is more than Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach. It is an art form that is taken up by the young and old, rich and poor; it is multicultural, and it reflects one of the last voices of depth in a society that worships at the altar of shallowness and stupidity. A city that cannot support the fine arts, that prides itself on how "cool" and "hip" it is, is a city that will cut its own cultural throat.

I agree that an institution that does not engage its community with innovative programming and caters to its richest patrons will indeed find itself in trouble. I encourage Mr. Stratton to engage himself more deeply within this art form and stop looking at it through the lens of what is popular and what sells. At the end of it all, he may find himself surprisingly enriched.

Frank Diaz

Tampa

Odorific:Far be it for me to criticize Jeff Stratton's hipness; that is obviously the only thing he has going for him. But I couldn't help but detect a certain odor emanating from his articles on the philharmonic, and the source of it was his snobbiness. I am so sick of "rockers" looking down their noses at "classically trained" musicians. Of course, the "rockers," like Stratton, are the ones making all the money, and the "classically trained" are eating cat food, right? Did Stratton even realize that one of the musicians you interviewed made a living as a rock and jazz musician prior to joining the philharmonic? Did he just leave that out of the piece? Oh, of course, his editor took it out! We certainly wouldn't want dear reader thinking that one of those stuffy, snobby, "classically trained" types was actually hip!

Concert halls are the domain of the culturally elite. People with wealth and power have a need to show an interest in the higher aspirations of humanity. People with wealth and power also tend to have gray hair. This is nothing new, and it doesn't mean that when they die, classical music will die with them. They will be replaced by other people with graying hair and wealth and power. There will always be an audience for classical music.

John Corigliano is writing symphonies now that are instant classics. And guess what? He's hip! In other cities, young people with open minds are attending symphony orchestra concerts and not because they think they are supposed to like it. They do so because they see it as an alternative to 4/4 time, to three-note melodies, to two-chord harmonies, and to incessant, thrumming, bass-driven backbeats. It doesn't happen much in this city -- who knows why? Your attitude certainly doesn't help. I suppose it just isn't hip enough.

Andy-Bob Nolen

Classically trained cellist and punk rock veteran

via the Internet

Not anti-Semitic:In the first paragraph of Susan Eastman's story about condos ("Where the Condos Are," May 8), she mentions Brooklyn hood Chris Paciello -- and in the next sentence, she mentions Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky. Why didn't she mention what religion Paciello is? Is a person's religion mentioned only if he or she is a Jew? You didn't mention any of the other people's religion, just their names; why mention the person was a Jew if that has nothing to do with his being a mobster? I would like to know. Do you want to show Jews in a bad light?

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