Keep It Down, September 7, 2006
The fungus among us: Malcolm Gay's article on fungus-based Quorn was on target except when it belittled the fact that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (www.cspinet.org) has received only 1,000 reports of adverse reactions. Because most people sickened by Quorn don't know to go to our Web site to file a report, it is very impressive that we've received that many complaints.
More significant than the number of the complaints is a telephone survey we conducted in England that found that a higher percentage of consumers believe they are sensitive to Quorn than milk, soy or other food. People unlucky enough to be harmed by Quorn may want to visit www.quorncomplaints.org.
Mike Jacobson, Washington, D.C.
"Keep It Down" a taste sensation! Almost every time I read Malcolm's column, I feel delighted and think about e-mailing to tell him so. I can count the regular features I enjoy in RFT on one hand, but they are enough to keep me reading weekly.
Malcolm, I love your topic and your writing style. "Keep it Down" never fails to amuse me. It often makes me smile and a couple of times I may've even chuckled out loud. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to each week.
Lauren Buchsbaum, University City
RFT Music Showcase, September 7, 2006
Death Be Not Proud
Wood deserves his due: While we very much appreciate the recognition that Vela Uniform was given in the RFT's description for Murder Happens in the Music Showcase 2006 preview, it was inaccurate to say Brian and I "head" Murder Happens.
Paul Wood, who is an incredibly motivated and talented musician, founded Murder Happens. It would be an understatement to say that he has worked relentlessly to make Murder Happens the band that it is today. We were very surprised that his name was not mentioned, as he is the driving force behind this band. We feel privileged to be working with someone so talented and dedicated to music.
Brenda and Brian Merry, St. Louis
Feature, August 31, 2006
One degree of separation: I want to clarify a few things in Malcolm Gay's article "Total Exhibitionist," about Matthew Strauss' White Flag Projects. Gay refers to a letter I wrote in 2001 rebutting a letter Matthew Strauss had written the RFT about the People Project. Just as Matthew was "pissed off" at the negative comments made about his artwork after the Great Rivers Biennial exhibit, I was pissed off at Matthew's negative comment eviscerating any artist involved in the People Project. By quoting nearly my entire rebuttal and not Matthew's entire original letter, I am portrayed as a mean, whining, bitter artist who is jealous of anyone's successes.
At the time, there were even fewer opportunities for artists in St. Louis. In retrospect, the People Project was a fun little community art program. Although it's not something I would participate in now, I'm glad I did then because the letters Matthew and I wrote, which we often laugh about, caused our introduction, which has evolved into our current friendship. Those letters also caused Matthew to reunite with Elliot Smith (my friend and former employer who introduced me to Matthew), which led to Matthew's solo 2002 exhibit at Elliot Smith Contemporary Art. In turn, that allowed me to see Matthew's work progress into work I appreciate and respect.
As an artist and active member in the St. Louis art community who works with artists every day, I welcome any new venue and program willing to make the St. Louis art scene more viable not an easy task. Matthew is right: Someone has to do it. And I'm very grateful he has the guts and resources to manifest this vision.
I am and always will be very supportive of Matthew and White Flag Projects. As a matter of fact, I'm the "ex-girlfriend" of Bill Smith, White Flag Projects' first exhibiting artist you know, the one Gay mentions in the article as being responsible for introducing Matthew to Bill's work and the two to each other.
Sandra Marchewa, St. Louis
News Real, August 31, 2006
In Carolyn's corner: What a great article on Carolyn Tuft [Malcolm Gay, "Hang Tuft"] I am disturbed to hear the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is treating her like that. I do not believe for one minute she would write anything that is not accurate. I also find it disturbing after their so-called apology they have not covered what has been going on with her and your paper had to print the details. Please stay on this. Good job.
Michelle McMurray, St. John
Feature, August 24, 2006
Many questions, no answers: Chad Garrison's "Battle Lines" begs the question: Why has the crime become so increasingly great aligned to the black community, gangs or not? Other questions: Why are we making "excuses" for them, or want them for feel "comfortable"? Why is a crime investigation reduced to six officers and a sergeant? Why are parents continually in denial about their children and their own behavior? Why are crime rappers like Ice Cube glamorized? Why is black crime farmed out as excusable because the kids have nothing to do?
It is true that crime-ridden territories look like a war zone out of a scene from Saving Private Ryan. I've worked there. I've seen gangsters own whole neighborhoods and terrorize traffic. I've seen the respectable south side deteriorate into desolate buildings and vandalism with slogans like "All lawmen fair game" and "Black Panthers" written on walls and doors.
Arthelia Spence has "too many bad memories." No kidding. When are we going to ask some hard questions and take action against terrorism within America?
Steve Erdmann, St. Louis
Editor's Note: Owing to an oversight, last week we ran a letter that Erdmann wrote admonishing us for not printing his original letter; the letter he referred to appears above.
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