Bad Business

Week of July 16, 2003

Critical thinking involves examination, research and the questioning of difficult issues rather than being mind-controlled drones manipulated by corporate disingenuousness. The recent World Agricultural Forum was a classic case of corporate big interests married to the city's interest in becoming the biotech capital of America. If questioning an issue brings down the wrath of Mayor Slay and Chief Mokwa, then I believe we are now living in a police state. German citizens didn't realize what was happening in Germany under Hitler either. Can we honestly say we are proud to live in a city that is so narrow-minded about addressing differences and that shows so little faith in people? The serious issues involved were totally obfuscated through the ridiculous overreaction of this city's administration. What's scary is that we try to rear schoolchildren to respect the police -- they're supposed to be the "good guys." Well, folks, these are our children, grown up and expressing the critical-thinking skills they were encouraged to develop in school.

I think the police need to return the property they confiscated ASAP and the mayor and the police department need to issue an apology to those who care enough to question issues that will critically affect our future. And how about having an in-service for the police about environmental issues, along with friendly, open discussions between the administration and its citizens? Fascism is not appropriate, Chief Mokwa; it is bred from fear and ignorance about the issues.
J. L. Blinne
St. Louis

Kritics' Korner
News flash! Reader disagrees with reviewer: There are times when I wonder if a movie reviewer wandered into the wrong movie by mistake and wrote a review of one entirely different from the one I saw and said it was the one I saw. Gregory Weinkauf must have done just that, or he must have forgotten to remove the earplugs and blindfold that help him sleep at night, or he must have been on one of the new designer prescriptions that numbs his brain so much he can't see or hear ["Mighty Mediocre," May 7]. Because he had to have seen a different movie than the one I and a packed theater laughed constantly to: A Mighty Wind.

Of course, he probably didn't get the joke. Most of his generation seem to have the sense of humor of a rotten kumquat anyway. I haven't found them to laugh to anything other than the dumbest, grossest things. If it has the word f*** -- you know -- in it, or motherf***er, or something like that, it's an immediate laugh. You know -- just say the word and an entire crowd guffaws its guts out until they lie in the aisles exhausted. Or if it has an obvious and stale sexual innuendo that lost its humorous side when the Romans lost their empire.

A Mighty Wind was a total satire. Not just funny lines -- it was funny situations that maybe you would have to had to experience in order to connect with its humor. But our suburbanite kids who haven't experienced much of anything traumatic beyond not getting the CD they want for Christmas haven't gone through much that connects them to the world that A Mighty Wind tells us about.

Could be your superficial rag could have gotten someone to review A Mighty Wind who lived at the time these "folkies" were in their heyday. Then maybe someone could have gotten the joke.
Dale M. Cannon
St. Louis

While we're at it, let's bash Webster: Which of you insists on paying Gregory Weinkauf for his smarmy, incoherent, quasi-intellectual blathering? When years ago I first read his film reviews in your paper, I chuckled at what was passing for composition these days among the undergraduates of the Webster University Media/Communications Department. But as it turns out, Weinkauf is nationally syndicated. Big deal. So is Judge Judy. Large circulation does not change the fact that Weinkauf is not insightful, not intelligent and not funny.

Why would a paper as dedicated to the promotion of local culture as the RFT pay a pretentious West Coast hack to perform such an elementary and sought-after job as film critic? Your staff is jammed with pretentious local hacks, and every one of them is a better writer than Weinkauf. Surely one of you likes movies and can make it to the end of a declarative sentence without opening parentheses for a nauseating, would-be cheeky wisecrack. Or hey, take your chances with the undergraduates at Webster. Really and truly, you can't get worse than this. Only cheaper.
Jason Bollinger
St. Louis

The Grass Is Greener
One year after: I am writing to comment on your comment regarding the Cardinals' revised Field of Dreams myth: Build it, and try to get someone to volunteer. D.J. Wilson's article "Fallow Fields" [April 24, 2002] has brought nothing less than success to Jim Edmonds Field in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. We appreciate the opportunity that Mr. Hanser and Cardinals Care have provided for our youth. At our baseball home opener this past May 31, we were blessed to have over 100 people in attendance, including Cardinals Care Youth Baseball Commissioner Keith Brooks and Fredbird. And, of course, thirteen of the most important components: the volunteer coaches.
Brad King, sports and recreation/
youth employment manager

Adams Park Community Center
St. Louis

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