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As someone who has spent a number of years writing about music, let me venture a guess: Buddy Seigal couldn't think of anything interesting to say about Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, so he trashed them (Music, June 18). It's an age-old technique, but one that does neither the writer nor the reader any service.
The columnist writes, "Me, I pretty much like everything that's done well and has integrity." He also professes a liking for roots music. I'm not going to get into Simon here; he's not particularly interesting to me, either. But if you are looking for an artist who has plunged into the rich pool of American roots music and emerged with something that shines with high quality and integrity, then that's Bob Dylan. That's as true today as it was in the '60s.
One more tip for Mr. Seigal: readers mostly care about music. As a rule, they don't care where you like to hang out or when you graduated from high school. They really don't care about what bores you.—Tommy Goldsmith, Nashville, Tennessee
Oh, my God . . . where DID you find this guy? In his preview of the Dylan/Simon concert, Seigal wonders if "I'm being a traitor to my generation when I categorically state that this does not give me wood." What the hell is his generation if he's wondering if a concert will give him "wood"? (What a unique man—thinking with his other head.)
He states he grew up in the '60s. I'm wondering if he ever grew up. And the very best line: "Boring. Go away. Both of you. You make me embarrassed to be old." To you, Mr. Seigal, I'd like to say: JUST GO AWAY. Anyone who uses a "Sam Kinison voice" has no room to be critical of anyone.
Get a life, pal.—Kate Anschuetz, via e-mail
I read the first sentence or two of Seigal's piece, and I stopped there. After putting Dylan in the category of hero worship from a 10-year-old and limiting it to a space like that, there was no need for me to go further. Here is an artist who continues to perform and produce and give of himself, who has never sold out or compromised his work, and who remains just as vital today as he ever was—a true timeless artist and one of the great writers and people in America in the past century.
Sure, Dylan has good days and bad days, as we all do, and he is probably better appreciated in a smaller venue than a large one. But aside from that, his music and his words are for everyone, whether you're 10 or 100. And I will always sing his songs and be thankful that he passed this way.—James Coffey, via e-mail Buddy Seigal responds: Tommy, I don't know how music critics handle themselves down in Nashville—that Babylonian anus that destroyed real hillbilly music—but around these parts, we simply do our jobs and speak our minds. If your favored method of journalistic laziness calls for trashing someone because you have nothing valid to say, please don't spread the blame this way. My opinion remains that Dylan has been uninspired and, yes, boring for about 20 years now. And Kate, I apologize if the notion of my erect and glorious manhood offends you, but please don't disparage the late, great Sam Kinison. My marvelously swollen meat and I will now JUST GO AWAY, as requested. Until next week. NO BONES ABOUT IT
I was appalled when reading Rebecca Schoenkopf's column on The Benefit (Club Land, June 18). How she was able to write about such a sensitive subject with such callousness was amazing. She must be quite a journalist! The Benefit was an attempt to help Rick Brun with his $100,000-plus medical bills. The fact that Schoenkopf would try to be humorous here was just plain tacky.
"Some weird thing going on with his leg . . . very bad," she writes. Are you kidding me? That "something weird" is a major bone disease in Brun's femur. Schoenkopf should have been taught before coming to write for such a highly circulated paper not to cover something she is completely ignorant about. "No one's real clear," she continues. Well, I thought the job of a journalist was to make it clear, not add to the confusion. All one had to do was call the number on the flier to get the correct information. Or would that have been too much "research"?
I am a loyal reader of your paper, but after reading this article, I am totally turned-off. Schoenkopf sounded like an eighth grader taking journalism for the first time. Rebecca, believe it or not, no one in Orange County cares about your "love-of-life ex-boyfriend" and who he's dating.—Rebecca Plunkett, Tustin Rebecca Schoenkopf responds: Funny you should mention my ex-boyfriend, Rebecca! I just ran into him in the grocery store for the first time in, like, a year! And he got that weird hunted look in his eyes and said, "I really don't know what to say," and then he left, and I wasn't even crying or begging him to come back or anything! Boy, was I sad! And as for that other thing, I did phone Rick Brun to get the real skinny on what was going on with his medical condition. How's that for research? But he was in the hospital, getting some kind of operation or something and couldn't call me back. Apparently, there was a problem with his leg. Yuck! COFFEE TALK