Homosexuality isn't pedophilia: I have just read your article about Rev. Michael Campbell [Jeannette Batz, "Agony of Sorrows," March 27]. You paraphrase Judy and Doug Broleman as saying it never crossed their minds that Rev. Campbell was gay. Then they joke about how he looks, and "what a waste," and their own struggle to understand different sexual preferences. This part of your article was very inappropriate, homophobic and misleading. Having sex with minors is not a preference. It is a disorder. Most homosexual adults are attracted to same-sex adults. Most heterosexual adults are attracted to opposite-sex adults. Pedophiles are attracted to young children, often of either sex. However, the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are heterosexual men who abuse girls. Pederasts are attracted to sexually mature older children. I know you mentioned that Rev. Campbell's sex with a minor was not considered pedophilia. Yet you seem to classify it as homosexual and explore that issue. What if the boy who was abused had been a girl? Would that lead you to explore the issue of Rev. Campbell's heterosexuality? More in-depth articles than yours have fully explored the unique reasons why much of the abuse by priests is to boys. You are supposed to be an enlightened publication. Yet you are promoting stereotypes and taking unsupported leaps in your article. I am very disappointed. I would have expected better of the Riverfront Times.
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Don't help hang 'em high: Thank you for your ongoing coverage of the "thug politics" regarding the Century Building [Jim Nesbitt, "Price of Thugdom," March 27]. A couple of clarifications. The Heller-McGowan-Mansur plan to revitalize the Century Building was said to be nonviable in a press release now widely known to have been written by the rival developer and issued at political and financial gunpoint. To join in calling their plan not viable is to join the lynching. Also, the term "10th Street Loft Taliban" is not a name activists call themselves. It was coined by Richard Callow, a paid PR consultant for Downtown Now!, which has apparently added nasty name-calling to its powerful arsenal of ways it is not attracting residents to downtown.
No habla Manilow, cabron: While I have not read this week's RFT in its entirety and so apologize if I have overlooked more deserving examples of sexist malarkey, I did happen across "Ah, the Power of Cheese" (March 27) by Byron Kerman. The writer suggests that half the world's population, solely by virtue of their possessing uteruses, "want to spread [the] schmaltz [of Barry Manilow] on rye and eat it with a pickle and cream soda." As a member of the uterus-packing population in question, I object to the hackneyed characterization of women as tireless heterosexual consumers of sentimentalist fluff; this sort of thinking is as boring as it is irrelevant. Legion are the women who are able to resist swooning over "Manilow's easy-listening love calls." This ability is not a gender-defying feat of masculine emulation. It is merely an indication of good taste.
Lessons of a forgotten racial past: Thank you for an excellent article dealing with the accounts of the injustices that occurred in 1949 [Eddie Silva, "The Longest Day," March 20]. Since I came into this world one year prior to the completion of Pruitt-Igoe, I have been concerned most of my lifetime with why St. Louis has evolved the way it has on the North Side. Never before have I heard or read about the atrocities that happened that summer. You have answered many questions and given me a clearer understanding of the justice that needs to take place in the entire St. Louis area. Having grown up in Granite City, Ill., I have been jaded [about] how the African-American community has been treated in St. Louis. I hope through articles, recollections and factual accounts such as the one you have given us it will become a wakeup call or jerk to reality for the "white" community that the injustices must end. No longer can ignorance be an excuse!
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Tell us something we don't know: Although I normally like to shy away from ad hominem criticism, the article on the Fairgrounds Park swimming-pool riot makes this sort of civilized self-restraint no longer possible. Blockbusting in North City, the general practice of Jim Crow throughout the region and even the riot itself all are well-known aspects of St. Louis' not-so-pretty postwar history. Yet [Eddie] Silva manages to present these banalities as if they were journalistic revelations comparable to that of Mount Sinai or the Second Coming. Even worse, Silva then leapfrogs over more than 50 years of history to conclude that nothing much has changed. What can we expect next, an article announcing that slavery was legal until the passage of the 13th Amendment? Or maybe a solid piece of investigative work that traces the roots of today's gang violence to the Dred Scott decision? So much have we come to expect from the pen of Eddie Silva!
Grove Slam Shot
Flat fish never a good thing: I absolutely loved your review of Busch's Grove [Melissa Martin, "Shallow Grove," March 20]. Even though I've never been to this St. Louis icon, I've had to listen to tales from others who revere it but can't recount one special dish when pressed with the question "Why?" Take that, you foodie fakers! Your comments on the flavorless grouper were particularly apt.
Now appearing at the Boom-Boom Room: Although the art of humorous writing generally has taken a nosedive in recent years, Melissa Martin's comedic stylings have restored my faith in the "make 'em laugh" principle.
Corner of Sunset and Whine: I am a fan of the Riverfront Times, and I have always found the restaurant reviews to be entertaining. Although Melissa Martin's review of Busch's Grove was quite entertaining, her thin-skinned personal tirade took the content away from the review and made her look less capable than the restaurant she was reviewing. I have only been to Busch's Grove one time, and I have no personal ties to the restaurant. However, I would dine there again before I would ever consider Melissa Martin a competent critic. Truffles is an outstanding restaurant, but to plug them that way was a low blow and totally unnecessary. Ms. Martin came across as a whiny, often mistreated woman with a chip on her shoulder. Lighten up, Mel -- it's only dinner!
We have an immediate opening for a full-time staff writer. If you understand the difference between magazine-style reporting and the hurried fact-finding of daily papers, if your copy is as much a pleasure to read as it is well researched, we want to hear from you. Qualified candidates will be able to create in-depth, well-crafted stories that explore the issues, events and personalities that make communities tick. Applicants should send a cover letter, résumé and clips to:
Jim Nesbitt, Editor
6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63130
No phone calls, please.
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