'I Feel That Your Reviewer Needs to Lighten Up'
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THOSE MIDDLING KIDS
I read your review of Cal State Long Beach's production of Trojan Women [Stacy Davies' "Whining Wailing Women," April 4] and was quite puzzled by the reviewer's obvious contempt for student actors and one-dimensional take on the production. I also saw the production, and having seen Women of Troy produced by academic companies and professionals alike, I found this version fulfilling and heartfelt. In contrast to your reviewer's disdain for the violent and angry tone in the piece, I found it a refreshing take on this often-static drama. In addition, the unquenchable anger spoke to the emotions that are twisting in myself and my colleagues concerning our current national conflict.
This review was an unfair condemnation of a well-reasoned and passionate production, and I feel that your reviewer needs to lighten up. Student casts are not professional, though they strive for excellence. I found this work a meaningful and concise statement from a group of conscious and hardworking artists.
Rob Graveley, via e-mail
Your article barely does Pat Sparkuhl's installations any justice [Greg Stacy's "Doll Parts," April 25]. Some advice: It's probably a good idea to check the spelling of the artists' names before printing. I wonder, if you can't spell Pat Sparkuhl's name correctly, what else in your article is amiss? As one of his art students, I have a different interpretation of his art.
Your critique of his doll installations undermined the amount of time and energy that went into constructing what you considered "something an artist can put together in an afternoon, using props he bought from a 99 Cents Only store." If only you had spent more time reading the placards or even speaking to the artist, you would have found that his art "props" are garage-sale treasures not to be confused with 99 Cent Store baubles. And yes, there is a difference.
At least with his piece "Let Us Prey," you ended your critique asking the right question. What does the piece say about organized religion? Throughout the history of art, artists who have tested the public's boundaries get recognized since humans find it easy to hide their fear, not embrace it. Art commenting on organized religion can really unleash the fire. Unlike your interpretation based on Jabba the Hutt (that did spark quite a visual), Pat Sparkuhl exhibits the tragedies and reality of religious pedophiles. The throw-up that you referred to is actually meant to be a graphic depiction of semen and tears, quite a different aesthetic.
Hopefully, my ranting doesn't piss you off. Rather, it is my intention to give you honest feedback since great art is a lot different than a sci-fi convention.
Kari Reynolds, via e-mail
Editor's Note: Pat Sparkuhl's name was in fact spelled incorrectly. We regret the error.
I thought your article was very entertaining, at best [Greg Stacy's "Certain Doom!" May 2]. Though I found it to be quite funny, I also found it to be insultingly fiction. Did the critic bother to read anything on the walls about what the art is really about? Did he talk with the artists? Did he question the curator? Or did he just decide to breeze through the show and create a FICTIONAL opinion as his critique?
Sally, via e-mail
Why do you guys have Greg Stacy writing a column? This guy can't write about art worth a damn.
Anonymous, via e-mail
LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT
You guys really, really, really have to stop repeating your covers inside your newspaper. It seems weak and lazy. And the only people who like Ultimate Fighting are meth-addled white trash—and this article [Derek Olson's "Sparring With Shadows," May 2] proves it.
Nate, Long Beach
If those are your feet in this week's article [Vickie Chang's Trendzilla, May 9], you sure have some tasty toes!
Clark, via e-mail
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
I'm the owner of Cay Dua Restaurant in Santa Ana [Gustavo Arellano's "Scary Soup Spectacular!" Aug. 10, 2007]. I would like to thank you for the article in which you wrote about our restaurant. Your description was very clear, very precise, and you used a lot of cute statements.
Stephanie Le, via e-mail
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A correction to your column on El Rincon del Sabor's pork is in order [Gustavo Arellano's "Three Kinds of Pork!" April 18]. Many non-observant Jews (as I am) often eat pork. It is only observant Jews whose kosher diligence prohibits eating traif meats such as pork. It goes way back to when piggies weren't quite as clean as they are now.
Gabacha Pura Judia Americana, via e-mail
In Gustavo Arellano's May 9 news article, "Terror Town," the name of Mirna Burciago's restaurant is "El Chinaco," not "El Chicano." The Weekly regrets the error.
THEY LOVE US IN RIVERSIDE!
The Weekly earned three first-place awards in the Inland Southern California SPJ awards: Nick Schou won for Best Feature Story ("Just a Random Female," Nov. 22, 2007), Daffodil J. Altan for Best Education Story ("Hard Knocks," Oct. 5, 2007) and Janine Kahn for Best Cultural Diversity Story ("The Closet and the Cross," July 27, 2007). Also, photographer John Gilhooley took second place in the Best Portrait/Personality Photo category for his cover shot of boxer Ronny Rios (Aug. 3, 2007). Congratulations all around.