Readers riff on rude audiences, misogynistic columnists and raw food

Sep 23, 2009 at 4:00 am
The center cannot hold: Banana republics don't have free libraries ["But Where Will Homeless Philadelphia Men Browse Internet Porn Now?" Keegan Hamilton]. Just about everything that's involved in raising a country out of the dark ages is falling apart in America: schools and libraries, roads, bridges, canals and dams, drinking water, sewers, public health — you name it. And it's consistently for the same reason: The American people, the lowest-taxed people in the whole world, refuse to pay for maintenance of the things their grandparents built.

They're dragging every state down to the level of Alabama and are apparently determined not to stop until they've dragged us all the way down to the level of Bangladesh — just so 1 percent of us who don't get dragged down to that level of poverty don't have to pay any taxes.
J. Brad Hicks, via the Internet

Deserved to be called out: Thank you, Aaron ["The Worst Thing Ever: Mark Whicker, Jaycee Dugard, and Why Rape Victims Aren't Funny," Aaron Schafer]. It's reassuring to know there are still men like you around, with some basic human decency. In making a mockery of Ms. Dugard's eighteen-year ordeal, he exemplifies the misogynistic attitude that permeates modern-day sports — that women are objects to be owned (or stolen), used, abused, disparaged and discarded. Given the status quo locker-room mentality it does not surprise me that Mr. Whicker would choose such an unfortunate angle for his article. It (sadly) surprises me even less that he appears to think he's done nothing wrong. His attempt to capitalize on her misfortune for the sake of a byline is, indeed, troubling. Apparently, Mr. Whicker forgot he's writing to society as a whole, rather than a group of hormonal frat jocks.
S. Parker, via the Internet

Hard on the old bones, too: Great job on this article ["Weed Eaters," Nicholas Phillips]. It was very comprehensive, well researched and had great quotes from credible sources. Still, you didn't mention the downside of raw food. The upside is the increased energy and good health, but there are problems. The first one I encountered was resistance from friends and family. Second, this lifestyle is very time-consuming — cutting, chopping, peeling, dehydrating, processing, shopping, sprouting and blending. This takes time and money. I spent around $1,000 on my Green Star juicer, food processor, blender and dehydrator, not to mention my spiral slicer and a couple other cheaper gadgets. The third negative experience was that I lost bone density. I still do a lot of raw food, but I must eat meat daily for my body type. I'm 62 years old now, and people never guess my age, which I love! Anyone with a beer gut or extra pounds who claims to be "raw" is a liar, and a dumb one at that!
Carolyn Patton, Kirkwood, via the Internet

Save cheers and boos for the ballpark: Frankly, the theater is a sacred place ["Down in Front!" Dennis Brown]. More often than not, it is a sacred place to the many audience members who have paid for their tickets and expect to be able to enjoy the play (or not) without being distracted and annoyed by other rude audience members.

It is hilarious to me that there is actually a reference to baseball among these comments. Yes, baseball players are paid millions of dollars to play the game in front of thousands of cheering (or booing) fans. They do not have to remember lines while they are doing it, though, which is a very different situation. If it were the same, then perhaps all of us actors would also be getting millions of dollars for what we do! Most of the small professional theater companies in St. Louis are not-for-profit, which means that we have a duty to serve our community — and we take that very seriously. It is our job to serve, and the service we provide is one that we think is of utmost importance.
Margeau Baue Steinau, artistic director, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble, via the Internet

Credibility on thin ice: Funny, St. Louis Magazine rated Ice Kitchen's Chilean sea bass No. 1 as the best small-plate dish in St. Louis for 2009 ["Cold Spell," Ian Froeb]. Taking the other top nine spots were restaurants the likes of Modesto, Araka, Mosaic, Sleek and Eleven Eleven. Read this review and tell me this food critic didn't have an agenda. Your credibility continues to diminish.
Tim, St. Louis, via the Internet