Hit Parade

IT'S A PARTY: Sometimes you try to understate things, cut the rhetoric down a bit. That seldom works. Take a piece in the RFT a few weeks back. It was a small feature on WGNU (AM 920) drive-time hosts Ray Ytzaina and Virginia McCarthy. Some folks thought the piece too kind, arguing that the pair's rightist take on the world is hateful and ugly. Well, at times their worldview does seem to come from a place motivated by fear. But Virginia's so damned entertaining that it's hard to get too mad at her. Ray, on the other hand...

Because Ytzaina has determined to go on a little jihad against the RFT, we'll introduce some lines that could've been used in the piece but weren't: "irritable and lacking respect for opposite viewpoints," for one; "possessing the ill-tempered feistiness of the barroom choir," for another. We could've more strongly condemned Ytzaina for bellowing that those who disagree are Nazis, which he finds a clever, humorous use of irony. We could've stated that his vigorous research for each show comes squarely from the fringes of the Internet, the black-helicopter crowd his prime source for today's news. We could've said that the big-voiced Ytzaina comes across as a bullying buffoon, yammering McCarthy into a bit role after she's been a fixture there for two decades. But we didn't.

Chuck Norman needs to rouse himself to action: Call the divorce lawyers and separate this unholy union. Let Ytzaina chew time in his own Party Line slot, with his intolerant audience and faux-Jeffersonian wit.

Free Virginia McCarthy!

SMART ART: Since its close as an underutilized cyber-coffeehouse last year, the Soho Building, at the corner of Grand and Hartford, has stood as a sort of mystery on the block. Sure, the art-deco exterior remained a unique fixture in the city, but the vacancy sign created a bit of confusion. How could such a compact, beautiful space not be in use? Especially on a corner right in the heart of a busy business district?

This weekend that changes, with artist Matt Anderson taking up the first-floor storefront. According to a release generated by the Forum for Contemporary Art, Anderson "will be making art and inviting neighborhood residents, school groups and anyone working or shopping in the area to participate or observe in the making of art." The experiment begins on Saturday, March 27, from 5-8 p.m., with Anderson continuing the studio process during set times -- 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday.

At times folks have criticized the area as becoming too bourgeois, attempting to cater to the candle-and-vase set while turning its nose up at the funky elements that have long been a staple of the neighborhood. Until the announcement of a consistent music venue hits the strip, the studio's opening serves as one of the better signs that the area's artistic bent is not only active but becoming better publicized. Good.

RFT ANAGRAMS: After several weeks of painstaking thought and labor, it was found that the "computer machine" allowed easy access to endless amounts of anagrams. These fancy typewriters will do anything nowadays! Check this site, "Main Sanitary Nag," if so inclined: anagram.avatartech. com/anagram.html. It will make the anagram bit in your weekly newspaper column go by in a flash. In effect, less thought, more fun.

The City Museum = Mushy Cute Time
Frank O. Pinion = Prank, If Onion
Avalon Cinema = An Income Lava
Vintage Vinyl = Vigilant Envy
World Wide Magazine = Lemonade Wig Wizard
Wayman Smith = Saw Main Myth (and/or) Many At Whims

Send quips and tips (but no more anagrams) to Thomas_Crone@rftstl.com.

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