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Dear Concerned Citizen, I would like to apologize for the horrific experience, and $50 ticket, you had at the airport ["Hey You!" Nov. 4]. It's not your fault! It was the educational system that let you down. They let you graduate without being able to read the signs posted everywhere that say, "NO UNATTENDED VEHICLES/NO WAITING." It was the educational system that failed to teach you to park your vehicle in the parking lot and walk in to assist Grandma. It was, again, our poor education system that left you with the inability to comprehend the need for increased security measures these days. Since you have an inability to take responsibility for your actions, why not blame a doctor when you get sick or a fireman when you burn your hand because you could not read the words "CAUTION: HOT"? You have no reservations when it comes to verbally abusing law enforcement. So why is it that when you dial 911 because Grandma is having a heart attack or there is a gunman in your house, we—law enforcement—have no reservations about responding to help YOU?
As the curator of the exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum, "A Broken Beauty," I am writing to express my displeasure with the erroneous information contained in Rebecca Schoenkopf's review and her failure to address the premise of the project ["Earthly Pain," Nov. 11]. "A Broken Beauty" is based upon the aesthetic ideas of the French philosopher Simone Weil. Upon entering the exhibit, visitors encounter a hard-to-miss text panel that orients them to Weil, the premise of "ABB" and its artistic concerns: art history, 20th-century violence, the Bible, saints, existential issues. Ms. Schoenkopf, however, chose to respond by opening her piece with the four flippant paragraphs about Catholic matters, as if the exhibition itself were Catholic. It is not, and neither am I; nor was it curated "by the folks at Loyola Marymount." While I am the director of LMU's Laband Art Gallery, "ABB" is an independent project. By fixing on her own vexed relationship with Catholicism, Ms. Schoenkopf cannot see the art for what it actually is, and therefore misses the multiple layers of meaning that are revealed through contemplation of the work.
Curator, "A Broken Beauty"
Rebecca Schoenkopf responds:It wasn't curated "by the folks at Loyola Marymount," but he's director of LMU's gallery? Way to find "erroneous" information. Look, the exhibit sucked because the works were bland. My vexed relationship with Catholicism was the only damn interesting thing about the whole show.
Gustavo Arellano hit it on the head with his criticism of reggaeton ["Woooooow!" Oct. 28]. He could have included quite a bit of the other noise clogging the airwaves these days. I'd almost vote for more tax money to the schools if it could be used to encourage an appreciation of music.
R. Dean Whinery
AND I RAND
Ayn Rand thought that religion was deleterious to the cause of man. Ayn Rand believed that government bowing to or based upon religion was anathema to freedom. Yet you have compared a religious zealot, Marie Kolasinski, to Rand and proclaimed they held similar views ["Che Kolasinski," Nov. 11]. Comparing Rand to Kolasinski would be similar to comparing the revolutionary Marx to the revolutionary Jefferson.
I had to laugh when I saw David Holcberg's defense of Ayn Rand [Letters, Nov. 25]. Rand stood for reason, eh? All one has to do is read Atlas Shrugged to see how thin her reasoning was: for every wrongful act committed by the heroic characters, there is a dissertation on why it was not wrong, requiring Clintonian logic to reach that conclusion. The best part is where the hero's wife is caught having an affair, so the hero uses that to justify the one he was already having with the heroine, which was already justified by some other tortured logic.
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Re: Matt Coker's "A Clockwork Orange: Apologies and Deceptions," [online Nov. 21; print edition Nov. 25]: I hope you are correct that this isn't the end of uncovering the FBI's illegal—well, maybe now not-so-illegal—efforts to silence people in the environmental, peace and animal-rights movements. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has been busy watching Food Not Bombs houses all across the United States. The Colorado ACLU discovered reports written by the FBI about Food Not Bombs. Food Not Bombs activists have been arrested by the task force in Arizona and North Carolina as well as California, New York and Colorado. Instead of looking into people interested in using bombs (and jets), they are spending our tax dollars spying on the Not Bombers who are working for peace and democracy.
Co-founder, Food Not Bombs
Matt Coker responds: McHenry's mention of that column allows me to correct something. The online version included a section in italics, indicating it was written by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff. However, in the transfer over to print, the italics disappeared, making it appear that I wrote the section. To be clear, Isikoff wrote the following: "In their wrongful-arrest lawsuit, [Josh] Connole's lawyers demanded to know why the FBI looked at Connole in the first place. Court documents show agents were initially tipped off by a neighbor to 'suspicious' activity at the commune the night of the attacks. (In fact, says Connole, members were simply helping one of the residents move out.) Agents placed the commune under surveillance and developed a political profile of the residents, discovering the owner of the house and his father 'have posted statements on websites opposing the use of fossil fuels,' one doc reads. Another says the owner had ties to a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, an 'anarcho-vegan food distribution group.'"