Sticks, Stones and Stanze

Week of July 24, 2002

Jul 24, 2002 at 4:00 am
Sticks, Stones and Stanze
Actually, he is the editor: In the last edition you printed another in a long line of letters complaining about the tremendous increase in the use of profanity since Ray Hartmann's departure. The very next page, one of your staff writers engages in a profanity-laced, sophomoric tirade rebutting [filmmaker Eric Stanze's] letter to the editor [Jim Nesbitt, "Stanze's Two-Step," July 10]. What is so great is that [Stanze's] position is the most coherent and correct of the two. Your staff writer is basically saying: "Nay, nay! We are rubber, you are glue; your letters to the editor bounce off us and stick to you. So there!" Do you have any editor at all anymore? Was he on vacation that week? I think [Stanze] was correct in his assertion that, at least his work is only allowed into the hands of adults. Meanwhile, the RFT is getting close to being a publication that should not be allowed to be distributed free on the streets. I'm begging you to stop printing a paper that is on the journalistic level of a junior-high-school newspaper. If you continue on like this, you just may find community after community prohibiting your free distribution. The RFT is too important a resource to the metro area to be run this amateurishly.
Tom Matzen
Collinsville, Illinois

No signs of intelligent life here: I am writing in response to Jim Nesbitt's "Speedloader" in the July 10 issue. Nesbitt writes: "While watching your basic blood-splattered broomstick butt-rape, do these three phrases -- teamwork, support, artistic voice -- automatically pop into your brainpan?" The answer would be "probably not." But one has to take into account the reason why Eddie Silva wrote the story at all. It would seem to me that Eric Stanze expected a piece written about the filmmakers and their struggle to bring their films to a wide but specific audience. But the piece, as I read it, seemed to be more interested in showcasing the graphic content of the films themselves. Was this an article about people or about movies that people make? Silva took the more exploitative and sensational route with his article, and I think Eric Stanze has every right to be more than a little upset about that. Granted, Stanze's films are adult in nature, full of violence, sex and gore. But is that what the story should have been about? Shouldn't it have shed a little light on the St. Louis filmmaking community, about how tight-knit a family it really is? I picked up the RFT because I was excited to see a St. Louis filmmaker getting some recognition. I was disappointed to see that the article addressed neither the lack of financial support filmmakers in St. Louis receive nor the backbreaking work St. Louis filmmakers do just to get their vision onto film or video, let alone seen by anyone. Instead, it was just filled with incomplete retellings of Stanze's most graphic scenes. And I was very offended by the way Nesbitt has responded to Stanze's critique. Stanze offered a valuable, intelligent critique of an article that has stripped away all the integrity of his own artistic endeavors, and all Nesbitt can do is print snippets of it accompanied with his own smart-alecky commentary. You aren't doing a lot to convince me that Stanze is wrong when he questions your ability to "intelligently write about" the things he does.
Aaron Crozier
Rock Hill

Show Low
Connect the dots: What have Enron and John Ashcroft got to do with a food review of Truffles restaurant [Jill Posey-Smith, "Larger Than Life," July 10]? It's fine to be clever, but inserting your personal bias and hate because you have the power of the pen is childish. The Riverfront Times is slipping in quality. Yes, the paper has provided a great source for information and for things to do, places to eat, etc. It is easy to set new lows. Aiming higher in this day and age takes some competence.
Larry J. Parrish
via the Internet

Praise for Twisty Faster: The delightful prose style of Jill Posey-Smith is consistently charming and fascinating. She makes restaurant reviews, which I would not read normally, seem like interesting essays. She almost makes up for the appalling movie reviews you have been printing lately. It's a sad day when you would rather read a film review in the Post-Dispatch than in an alternative weekly.
Tony Patti
via the Internet

When smoking is outlawed, only outlaws will smoke: In a nutshell, this is why passing a law doesn't do a thing for the problem [Wm. Stage, "Indoor Fireworks," July 10]. The laws are not enforced. Lawmakers will probably pass another law to cover the first law. The real problem is the law-enforcement officers. They will write a traffic ticket in a heartbeat but ignore anything that could cause them trouble.
Bob Rutledge
Burleson, Texas

Stripped Gears
The sweet smell of burnt rubber: The article [Jeannette Batz, "Speed Isn't Enough," July 17] was really good, but I was disappointed that you never even mentioned that the winner of the superstock field was Billy Rowe -- a St. Louisan. He has a wonderful article about him in National Dragster and is now ranked in the top ten in the nation. He and his father before him have raced at Gateway for many, many years. Needless to say, I wish you had at least mentioned him. The Post-Dispatch only had one sentence, and I think he deserves much more recognition for how much he has accomplished with his "hobby."
Janis Atkinson
St. Louis