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One has to wonder--was the exhibit worthy of this much attention without the "sucker punch" story? The incident at Pirate was in truth more prosaic than Mr. Paglia's account. Mr. Stockman and Ms. Jones exchanged words, and when Stockman took her violently by the arm and tried to throw her out of the building, Ms. Jones protected herself by pulling free and throwing a pitcher of beer at him. She did not appear to intend to cut him, but rather to soak him with beer. She did not then "flee," but rather gathered her things and (almost) quietly left.

It seems that Mr. Paglia may have been more interested in entertaining his readers than in presenting the facts of the story accurately and objectively. His readers, I would think, have the right to expect more.

Randy Hughes

Michael Paglia responds: Hughes is right about a couple of things. I am a fan of Bill Stockman's work, but I also crowned Cameron Jones Best Emerging Artist in 1997. Like mine, Hughes's account of the recent episode of "reception rage" at Pirate is based on the reports of witnesses, but it might be relevant to point out that the chivalrous Hughes is the ex-boyfriend of Cameron Jones.

Made in America
In the November 11 Mouthing Off, I was glad to see Kyle Wagner specify the chicken breasts needed to prepare the recipe--and I got quite a laugh when she brought up the Shrimp Shrimp served by most authentic Italian restaurants.

In the same issue, there was a letter from Ronda Lietz. This was not her first letter, and much as I agree with her about Pat "the Loser" Bowlen, I have to wonder where she studied geography.

She throws around the words "America" and "American" as if there were a country named America. There is no country named America. There is a country named the United States of America, but as the name implies, it is of America. And what is it of?

America is the continental mass occupying the western hemisphere of our planet. Everyone from Canada to Argentina is an American. Even that dickhead Bowlen. I think Ronda Lietz is confusing the permanent land mass called America with the temporary political subdivision of that permanent land mass named the United States of America. The French would never assume that they were the only country in Europe and act like the other countries on their continent were inconsequential.

Under this premise, the majority of American citizens speak Spanish.
James Ludlow

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