Pray as you go: Kenny Be is always brilliant, but "All-Faith Funnies," in the February 23 issue, may have been his best Worst-Case Scenario yet! Let us pray...for many more years of his comics.
Fatwa city: Kenny Be, are you suicidal?!?! The cartoonist in Denmark has a fatwa against him with a bounty of $1 million and a car, and you go and put a satirical rendering of the Prophet in "All-Faith Funnies," your February 23 Worst-Case Scenario!!! You either have the courage of real integrity, or you are nuts! In their point of view, the laws of their lands are applicable here, and you are putting yourself at some significant risk. These people do not play, Kenny, and they do not get your humor. Your constitutional rights are in conflict with their view that you should not exercise anything that offends them.
Be safe, Kenny, be very safe.
The quiet riot: Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be. Westword is missing the point if it does not fear repercussions for printing such insulting characterizations of the religious and of religion itself. A rational person cancels his subscription to Danish (and other offensive) newspapers instead of killing and destruction, and a rational person encourages his superiors to pull their ad from Westword instead of engaging in violent protest.
Simmer in the city: Regarding Jason Sheehan's "All Things to All People," in the February 23 issue:
As a seventeen-year Lafayette resident, I must protest Sheehan's characterization of the city as a place "where Taco Bell is a reasonable choice for Mexican and Olive Garden is haute-fucking-cuisine." Anyone who knows the city would choose La Familia for Mexican, and there isn't an Olive Garden closer than Boulder or Westminster -- so Sheehan's gibe, while it might sound clever, is basically meaningless.
Perhaps Sheehan should actually know something about the city before summing it up and writing it off. His mistaken assessment may have been due to the fact that he didn't actually know where he was. Magnolia, where he was dining, is by no means "in the middle" of Lafayette; it's out on the farthest possible western edge of the city limits. It's in a perfect spot to serve the wealthy populations of the giant new developments on that side of town, but the real city center is a good three miles southeast of it.
The hard sell: Having worked in the service industry for a number of years (first as a waitress at a box-chain restaurant, and later as a hair stylist), you might find it shocking that I agree with the anonymous "tipper" who wrote a letter published in the February 16 issue. Yes, servers' base pay is horrible (and ought to be illegal!), but that doesn't mean they should expect a gratuity; service is a sales position, and it is a server's job to sell herself! Bottom line: If your service is crap, your tips will be crap.
By the way, stylists get stiffed far more often than do servers, and we actually have to touch our customers!
Scene-stealer: Juliet Wittman's reviews are incisive, insightful and informative. They are my main read in Westword. Thank you.
She'll take romance: Regarding Michael Roberts's piece on Il Divo in the February 23 Playlist:
Apologize for being an Il Divo fan? Never. In fact, I plead guilty to all charges leading up to their success in the U.S. It's about time we actually got some class -- and talent -- back in the music industry. What I'm hearing on the radio bores me. One artist sounds like the act before and the act after; no one comes across in a unique style. Is it really so terrible to support something different and beautiful? The overflowing romance and passion that Il Divo delivers through its music infinitely surpasses the moaning mainstream music.
No, I'm not one of the forty-something fans who make up a huge part of their fan base. I'm eighteen, and actually have good taste in music. But don't you think its pretty amazing that there's something about the music of these four guys that appeals to more than one generation, let alone to different cultures?
I'm sorry that Michael Roberts's taste and appreciation for music, real music, is not more fine-tuned. Hopefully, one day he'll realize the full impact and beauty of Il Divo.
Brant Lake, New York
Unwashing our hands of them: Is Michael Roberts's in-box chock-full of enraged ladies' e-mails yet? He'll be set right before long about how his ears must be shot, how success and popularity justify themselves, how he has no artistic taste (obviously), and how he can't be objective, because he doesn't love Il Divo. And by the way, his mother is a whore.
Is our outrage at this shlock of the same nature as a "good liberal" and "true conservative" being outraged at what the Bush administration does, while the rest of the country doesn't care? It begs the question of whether we should not simply concede to the "great unwashed" their (lack of taste), rather than remain arbiters of our own.
Jens F. Laurson
Simon says: Michael Roberts's opinion (such base use of English cannot be called a critique) of Il Divo is based on ignorance. I doubt he has even listened to the CD. He has read a few other reviews and decided to puff out his chest and swagger with so-called wit and acerbic vitriol.
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Comparing Simon Cowell to a male member is worthy of the writings of a fourteen-year-old -- maybe Roberts is one? As for waiting for an apology from the U.S. fans, he'll be waiting until hell freezes over. The rest of the world is with them! Face it, Roberts, you're outnumbered, outclassed and out of your depth.
Everyone's a critic: Well, I guess we are all entitled to our own opinion, Mr. Roberts. So here is mine: You're an idiot!
Warwick, Rhode Island