Historical illusion? In response to Michael Paglia's June 28 "Melbourne Calling," on the contrary -- the pairing of a Picasso and an old-master portrait is a splendid and orthodox provocation. Whoever does not get the message is a Boethian.
Art history is relative and unexpected. There is no progress in art history, as the notion of progress in history is a Marxist illusion (after all, the Holocaust came after the invention of electricity). The prehistoric cave painting is as much advanced as a Modigliani -- and Modigliani came after impressionism.
John D. Sliwka
Up to the challenge: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Bleep That," his July 26 Message about the FCC fine against KKMG:
What makes America great are not f*****s in the FCC and politicians who think we have no right to listen to such "offensive" songs such as a bleeped "The Real Slim Shady." What does make America great are, in part, musicians and artists who constantly challenge us.
But the American "Tali-ban" has threatened to make this country into something that our Founding Fathers and freedom-loving people here would be disappointed in, if not frightened by. And to read that radio stations around this country have drastically self-censored themselves based on this draconian and what would seem to be unconstitutional action by the FCC justifies my worst fears on this matter.
Liz Pipes claims that one person can make a difference. Well, I hope she is right about that, anyway; for that is why I have written this letter.
While I'm sure that this letter will be one among thousands (hopefully), I really can't help being concerned over the Eminem/KKMG/FCC debacle ("Bleep That," July 26). The rallying cry of the "Save the Children" doctrine will be the death of the First Amendment. The late, great Frank Zappa was of the same mind while doing battle with the likes of Tipper Gore years ago over the "Parental Warning" stickers on CDs. Unfortunately, I can't recall the exact quote, but it was something to the effect of "We have to be extremely wary of crusading, do-good housewives intent on pacifying the world for their children." With all due respect to Ms. Pipes, I highly doubt that her delicate son's virgin ears have never felt the vicious sting of an obscenity. Maybe even from (gasp) her. Heaven forbid. I guess stating the irony of Eminem's song attracting this particular brand of attention is a moot point.
When did this country lose its sense of humor, reality and all things that our revered Bill of Rights seeks to protect? I'm sure Ms. Pipes was deeply offended by the South Park movie, if she has seen it (I bet her son has). Again, the irony would be lost. Well, upon pondering this dilemma, I have decided to change sides. The hell with freedom of speech or any of that bullsh*t (oops, too close. I hope someone gets a fine). I want to hear nothing but John Denver and Yanni music with DJs that share Mr. Rogers's gentle, soothing voice. No, wait. Just on the off chance that I might hear a dirty word in public, I will now permanently reside in a cardboard box in my closet. Goodbye, filthy deplorable world, hello sweet palatable nothingness. Thank you Ms. Pipes, you have saved me. Ever in your gratitude:
What a study of the perils of journalistic blueprint for a fascist press. Sorry, well-meaning Stuart Steers, but you forgot to do your research ("Old-Age Wisdom," July 19). Reading your "vital part of the equation" on the Great American Tragedy -- nursing home aka concentration camps for the poor who can't afford private pay -- was like watching the Ju Ju priests on the electric church preach about the alpha and omega, the faithful and true. But what more can we expect from individual consciences that have forgotten those who saved their world from evil and who now die neglected in the Medicaid system? Oh, yes, Stuart, do another study by interviewing the religious leaders. What are they doing with their billions of dollars in this time of our elderly veterans' needs?
Chaplain Mary Murphy, N.H.A.