Letters for August 9-15, 2007
The Sameness of It All
Where do you find the real Internet deal? What a great article ("Outgrowing Tom," John Elmwood, August 2). I do love MySpace, and it has gotten a lot larger. But it was started with musicians and artists in mind. You gotta use your own judgment for spam. It's a pain in the ass. Virb? It has ads by Google. Nuff said. There is no escape from advertising — anywhere. Everything's great when it's new. What goes around comes around. Virb looks like... MySpace. But what else can I compare it to?
That Lean and Hungry Look
Open space torments the mind of a developer: It never stops. Politicians, bureaucrats, and developers cannot leave an untouched piece of wilderness or native land alone if there is any proximity to a municipality ("Swamp Theme," Thomas Francis, July 26). Why the hell can't wild lands, wetlands, be appreciated for their natural productivity? Everglades Holiday Park, just 30 or so minutes from my northwest Miami-Dade home, should not really matter to me. I am not a kid anymore. I have done my time in the Everglades and Big Cypress, hanging out with friends. What's a shame is the kids coming up. So many people will lose 30 acres of natural marsh leased by the Bridges family. The proponents of such have their heads up their respective asses, not being able to see the value in this wilderness park.
So Broward Parks and Recreation Director Bob Harbin states that this "is a valuable access point to the Everglades and county improvements." Hey, dunce, it is the Everglades! Your "improvements" won't improve a thing. Leave it the hell alone. Allow the Bridges to keep their lease. Leave the swamp alone.
Time for Conflict
If my senses don't deceive me...: In the July 26 issue, author Bob Norman outlines some very disturbing information about our latest county commissioner, Stacy Ritter ("Marital Law"). If his information is correct, it appears that Ritter is assisting her husband, Russ Klenet, in making a figurative killing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
We've all heard the expression "Strike while the iron is hot." It couldn't be any hotter at FLL... Construction plans are burgeoning, the runway issue is still not totally resolved, Stacy Ritter is the County Commission liaison for all airport matters... and there is no airport director. Norman's article gives strong indications that there is a conflict of interest that is hitting Broward taxpayers in their collective pockets.
You Talkin' to Me?
Up close and personal: To quote an inane critic — "Sadism is fun." I had read what you called a review in a previous column and wasn't at all surprised at the tone or lack of tact in Brandon K. Thorp's review ("Gay Noir," July 26). But you obviously need feedback.
I'm sure your readership is titillated by biting, hurtful language. I had no reason to assume anything better than the ad hominem attack he made. You met my expectations. "Twit," "bitter queen," etc. really added no value — perhaps Thorp was creating a product for your newspaper?
Does 20 years of experience in theater and film provide me with a perspective to which he is clueless? I think so. And although Thorp may have mastery of multisyllabic words, his command of critical analysis is sorely lacking. Name-calling is how you compensate? Weak. What did I ever do to you that would prompt such misinformed commentary about my character?
Had Thorp actually taken the time to speak to someone older who had seen the show, he'd find that it does, in fact, strike a strong chord with gay men over age 50, and although the play was written as entertainment, it echoes the manipulation and hurtful actions of many younger gay men toward them.
But sincerely, you did a great job with the partial synopsis.
Editor's note: Brown is the author of the play The MO of MI.
White and Blue
Take what y' got, bluesman: Let me just begin by saying "Amen, Brother" ("Blacks and the Blues," Jonathan Cunningham, July 5). As a representative of the blues community, I know the problems with actually making a statement like this. And if I may take a couple of lines to tell you that I do have the qualifications to say this: I have been a longstanding member of the blues community, I was one of the lead committee members on the Fort Lauderdale Blues Festival for eight years, I am now a board member of the South Florida Blues Society, and I have been a judge at several of the International Blues Challenges in Memphis, including a finals judge in the early '90s. And much more.
What you have stated is absolutely on the money. I know this sounds politically incorrect but f*^&* that. It's politically right. Black music fans no longer support jazz. They no longer support gospel, and they no longer support blues. My opinion is that in five years, rap will be completely supported by young, white, middle-class kids. We have tried many times in the blues community to attract a black audience, and it always fails. We even included artists at our festivals that were considered "very black" draws; "chitlin" circuit artists. One year, Bobby Rush and Solomon Burke were the closing acts. You could count the black folks on one hand.
Blues has never been a household word, but it survives in the background because of white and European audiences. My opinion is it will continue to do so in whatever small niche it finds. And when it comes back, we will welcome back the black blues audience with open arms. I only hope it does not take that long.
Memphis Mark Fodera
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