Inn Again

Week of August 13, 2003

Inn Again
The guts to tell the no-tell story: Regarding Mike Seely's article "Inn & Out" [July 30]: At the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, I learned that many of the "no-tell" motels in the inner cities were built for black travelers, as blacks were prohibited from staying in "white" establishments. People either stayed in "colored" motels or with black families. Also, most of these were built at a time when they were in middle-class neighborhoods that would not tolerate what goes on now.

The article was interesting and informative. The Post would never have the guts to tell about this institution.
Tony Spranaitis
St. Louis

No class: "Peter," the main character in Mike Seely's "Inn & Out," allegedly lives with his grandparents and claims to be a doctoral candidate at a local university. What else do we know about Peter? How about these extrapolated facts:

1) It's only a matter of time before Peter is diagnosed with AIDS or some other social disease, if he's not already infected.

2) Peter has the morals of an alley cat. Correction: Alley cats have higher standards than Peter, because they don't watch porn or do drugs.

3) Peter has a professional girlfriend who objects to his frequent visits with the seamier sides of life. If that pair ever decides to get married, I suggest that their friends not give them any durable wedding gifts. That marriage has less of a chance of surviving than a snowball in you-know-where.

I wonder if Peter's grandparents know about his frequent carousing. If so, how happy and proud they must be. My chief worry is that Peter is attending a local university of which I may be an alumnus. I hope and pray Peter isn't associated with my former school.
Richard H. Gerding
Concord Village

Skate Away
Zero tolerance: It is understandable that those parents whose children utilize Saints Roller Skating Center and are well behaved might feel it's unfair that the rink may no longer be allowed to hold all-night skating sessions because of a few jerks [Bruce Rushton, "Saints or Sinners?" July 30]. Generally, it's always the few bad apples that spoil it for others. That said, it's not the responsibility of the Olivette City Council to propose an alternative to decrease the vandalism and complaints of nearby business owners. That's the responsibility of Andre Stith, the rink operator. He's the one making the money -- I'm sure he's not operating Saints as a nonprofit organization.

As an African-American, I also resent Mr. Stith presenting this as a racial issue. If I owned a business nearby and my business was interrupted due to unruly kids leaving his roller rink, I'd be pissed, too. I wouldn't care if the kids were black, white or refugees! And I don't know about Mr. Stith, but any time someone shoots at another person, that's serious. What, were they playing with pop guns?

Mr. Stith, if downtown business owners' establishments were being vandalized or interrupted following a Cardinals baseball game because of drunken, unruly fans, the St. Louis Cardinals would be taken to task to do something about it. The same applies to you. Here's a solution: Hire more security and implement a zero-tolerance policy for all patrons.
Greg Gibson

Phair Is Foul
A failed experiment: The difference between hearing Avril Lavigne or Liz Phair singing "Why Can't I" is that one is expected to sink that low, while the other courageously falls from grace in the process [Gina Arnold, "Phair Trade," July 30]. Liz Phair's experiment with this album is interesting, but it fails because she's trying to erase all of her good points and replace them with slickly produced radio static.

As much as I'd like to agree that it's sexist to call her on showing off her goods, the fact remains that whether she wants it to or not, her skin on an album cover sells. All of these windblown-hair pictures are just serving to make her look like a common tart, as opposed to the honestly sensual indie diva she used to be.

The bottom line is that I can't just pass off her turn for the worse because of former greatness. I still respect her old music, but she's really lacking credibility as an artist right now. I applaud the "Chicken Little" letter, but that doesn't make up for a redneck-guitar-calendar album cover that I'm supposed to see as "empowering." Please.
Will Brown
St. Louis

A whiny critic: Is Gina Arnold a sullen fifteen-year-old? That's what she sounds like in her oh-my-gawd-my-favorite-singer-got-a-bad-review rant defending Liz Phair's new record against all the mean, stupid critics who dared to do their job and have an opinion. I've read all of those mean, stupid reviews Arnold refers to, and man did she make some strange and outright incorrect statements in describing what the other reviewers were saying. In lashing out like she did, Ms. Arnold sounds just like I did when I was fifteen and some mean, stupid critic lambasted the latest Rush LP. As she matures, maybe she'll learn (or maybe not) that sometimes interesting artists make crap records. And sometimes you just gotta deal.

Next Page »