Feature, March 29, 2007
Don't disrespect Brazilian jujitsu: I just finished reading Molly Langmuir's article "Bow to Your Sensei." The insight into Jermaine Andre's past was very informative and well written. He is a gifted fighter and trains good fighters as well. I am glad that we have great local talent like him.
I did, however, take umbrage at the blatant omission of Brazilian jujitsu's influence on mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championships. What struck me as odd was the reference to UFC 2. Remco Pardoel did beat Orlando Weit in the quarterfinals but lost to Royce Gracie in the semifinals due to a lapel choke. Why was the quarterfinal match highlighted and not the fact that Royce went on to win the whole thing for the second time? MMA owes its popularity to the Gracie family and what it achieved in the first few UFC events. If Royce would have competed against people his own size or smaller and won, then no one would really have paid much attention.
It reads as a purposeful omission to disrespect Brazilian jujitsu and what it did for the sport. Guessing from your paper's stance, I imagine that you all hate George Bush. Cool. But imagine someone writing about the Iraq War and blaming everything on Tony Blair and the few soldiers Britain has and not even mentioning George Bush and the United States. Your blood is already boiling, I bet!
Rob Miley, St. Charles
Feature, March 15, 2007
In Defense of Local Talent
Take it from Honey Luv: Wow. Malcolm Gay's "Deal or No Deal" is a very good article. My name is Arlinda Davis, a.k.a. Honey Luv (www.myspace.com/lorensivad). My whole purpose of writing is to commend you on letting St. Louis know it's not as easy as it seems. I am an artist and I know times can be hard. I struggle every day trying to establish that one contact, that one deal, that one opportunity that would make all my dreams complete. But hey, that's life. Like they say, only the strong will survive.
Anyway, I think the article was great; it put the industry in perspective. I have much respect for all of St. Louis' local talent. I have personally had an opportunity to meet some of these talented people, such as Gena, Kanjia, Ruka Puff and Ebony Eyez. I see them out, and they're real. They have goals, dreams and mad talent.
This article made me want to be more supportive of local talent, even if it's just out of respect for my city. It's a shame everyone wants to compare to Nelly. Nelly will be Nelly; he is hot. But we have a lot of other hot talent, and I know if these artists work hard and never give up, maybe they too can add to the blaze Nelly started. I think there's enough out there for everyone.
Anyhow, keep us informed and be blessed.
Arlinda Davis, St. Louis
Rotations, March 15, 2007
Thicke not thin: Dan LeRoy may think Robin Thicke sounds like Justin Timberlake, but he is far more talented. He has been in the business and is now getting the recognition that he deserves. I see a lot ahead for Robin. You will see.
Suzanne DiVentura, Franklinville, New Jersey
Feature, March 1, 2007
Watch what you say about Granite City, muchacho! Not that Valley Park Mayor Jeffery Whitteaker needed any help looking like an ass, but Kristen Hinman's article, and the photo of the prototypical bumpkin-in-power, will make me think twice about even driving through that poor excuse for a town. As a Puerto Rican male veteran, I found it offensive that this racist would lump all Hispanics into one group. "Cousin Taco" may join the family and become the nineteenth person to live in the house, but I assure you, "Cousin Puerto Rico" would decline the invitation.
News flash! Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, idiota, and consequently, any person born in Puerto Rico is a U.S. citizen. I didn't proudly serve my country to be later scrutinized for being Latino. We all bleed the same color blood, Mr. Whitteaker. This misuse of power to twist laws around for the benefits of others is exactly why our society is so divided. The rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.
Again, we are faced with racism and discrimination from a more prominent race. I bet Mr. Whitteaker doesn't complain when he goes to any chain restaurant to scarf down gravy-doused plates of food the Mexican kitchen staff diligently prepared for him. If he resided in south city, would his fight against overpopulation be directed at the more prominent Bosnian race? There is no telling where his next adventure will lead.
I will also take my money elsewhere. Rather than driving through his trashy town to visit my mother in her luxurious west-county condo (which she has owned for the last fifteen years), I will choose a more inconvenient route and avoid driving through that miserable stretch of Highway 141.
Yes sir, Mr. Whitteaker, you sure put Valley Park on the map, as the Missouri equivalent of Granite City.
Nelson Labrador, Ballwin
Owing to an editing error, we left out a sentence from last week's feature, "Bow to Your Sensei." A passage near the end of the penultimate section should have read:
Says Andre: "I'm like a retired dog. I see other dogs fight; it makes me want to get back in. But I got too much other stuff going on to just be jumping back in the cage."
He has a bodyguard company, Professional Protective Services, his two gyms and also a fighter training program. Those interested in joining receive an information packet that contains a list of 32 rules, ranging from moral imperatives like telling the truth ("Rule 1: Lies are the tools of weak cowards") to hygiene requirements ("Rule 20: Shower at least twice a day on training days").
While we're at it, Leah Jordan of the Slaughter Project wrote to tell us she'd forgotten to include a credit when she sent the photo we ran in Night & Day the week of March 22. The photo should have been credited to Erin Storm of Storm Studios in Edwardsville.
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