With your article on sculpture-smashing in Hollywood ("You Call This Art and Culture?" Sean Rowe, March 26), my birthday came a few weeks early this year. Rick Arrowood has given me a multitude of presents. I would like to thank him for giving me credit beyond my due. I was extolled as single-handedly researching, discovering, and broadcasting an obscure law protecting artists from the willful destruction of their works of art. What a perverted concept! I am grateful for Mr. Arrowood's continued stupidity. I am just a big jackass shooting little peccadillos aloft, but they must be finding their mark.
Another birthday present came with Hollywood's March 10 election. Sal Oliveri's presence on the dais will reawaken Commissioner Cathy Anderson, giving her a much-needed ally. Mara Giulianti correctly predicted that there would be a lot of deadlocked votes on upcoming commission items as she continues to try to fill the troughs of Ms. Kitty [Ryan], Gus Boulis, Alan Koslow, et al. The city can no longer retire to the "backroom deals," since the present two-against-two situation requires valid argument, open discussions, citizen participation, public debates, and the required constituent-wooing in order to get anything done. As opposed to the "drag-them-kicking-and-screaming" attitude of Mara Antoinette, the newly configured commission is a welcome change.
This would signal the beginning of the end of some recent follies. No more hokey "Arts District" (with no consolidated arts leadership), no more weekly parades, festivals, and promotional hoopla hoping to get shoppers and patrons to frequent the downtown area. If the downtown arts district was meant to be a workable option, then the flagship Art and Culture Center would not be in federal court defending itself for violating V.A.R.A. (the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990), destroying the work of one of its sculptors, putting on lackluster exhibits, and producing tired business seminars just to get warm bodies into the center.
Hollywood messed up big-time, and the curse remains, so no self-respecting artist or collector can support the counterfeit fiasco until many changes take place with the powers-that-be.
Sean Rowe Hallucinates; Don't Insult the Arctic Inuits
I really enjoyed Sean Rowe's article on Seminole Indian Chief James Billie ("Big Chief Moneybags," March 19), given the fact that he spent more time with the chief than most writers do. However, as a member of James Billie's "entourage" (i.e., his guitar player) for the last four years, let me set the record straight on a couple of points.
First of all, I think Mr. Rowe must have confused the Inuit people with those "natives" in Leningrad, because I do not recall myself or anybody else (including Chief Billie) returning home from the Arctic "hung-over" and "declaring the northern Indians a bunch of vodka-swilling drunks."
Furthermore, not only was John Stacey not in the band at the time, but we didn't even stop in Cross City until nearly two years later on our way home from a show in Tallahassee. And guess what? There were no "vodka-swilling drunks" on that trip either, although I will concede that an inebriated, Budweiser-drinking pig was encountered by band members at the Cross City airport.
It's obvious to me that Mr. Rowe was merely using creative license to combine a few separate anecdotes into one compelling hallucination, but he could have done so without unduly insulting an entire Indian nation. While there was some drinking going on during our stay in the Arctic, we found the Inuits to be very gracious hosts and totally unworthy of the characterization made at the beginning of Mr. Rowe's article. But if we are going to go that far, then why not say that we saw Elvis up there as well?