I agree with the 27-year-old brother who posted in the online comments section of your web site ("Murder Ink," Jan 24). We are busy teaching our children to care about everything but life. But this is not only a black-American problem, this is an American problem. Unfortunately it affects black Americans disproportionately.
We need to teach our children to care about more than material things. We need to teach them to care about life first and all else second. Stop expecting the schools, churches, and government to do it for us. They have consistently over the years failed us. Why do we keep putting faith in them? We know more about who Beyoncé is dating and who Lil' Kim is sleeping with than we do about what is going on in our own backyards. We must start putting more effort into bettering our surroundings. We've lost too many generations.
Let's start making a change now. We have another chance. Let's not blow it.
Context is Everything
I am sorry I had not been directed to this review of the Maryland Institute College of Art's 2005 Sabbatical Exhibition much earlier than now ("Old School," Arts, Sept. 7, 2005). I would like to thank the reviewer for her remarks and to regret that Richard Kalter's name was not mentioned to have been a major component of the Maryland Institute for 25 years and this "hastily assembled as a high-school theater set and as inviting as a musty corner of someone else's basement," along with the "grizzled yellow armchair, an unremarkable pile of men's clothing, an outdated-looking touch-tone phone, a lamp, and a coffee-table book about Oskar Schlemmer," would have brought quite a discussion from Richard had he not just passed away--and the "overt sentimentality" was exactly that. He was my dearest friend and companion for more than 30 years, and his passing has left many voids. Many faculty members, students, and community leaders from coast to coast and around the world spent hundreds of hours sitting with Richard in his apartment in his grizzled yellow armchair. The chair, the lamp, phone, table, clothes, and even the book were found exactly as they were when his body was found--each of these pieces were well known to our community. Anyone who had had an association with MICA in the last 25 years was well aware of Richard who was the philosopher- and humanist-in-residence at MICA. A graduate and teacher both of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and Harvard Divinity School, Richard has left his "musty corner" in many basements.
Perhaps you missed the deepest connection of all from this juxtaposition of misplaced pieces in a group show. Richard Kalter showed up missing, and his remains will be left for the next "rummage sale" and perhaps someone else's "raw materials."
Unfortunately, I say, not yours.
I felt compelled to contact you to tell you how disappointed I am in your review of Nick's Fish House (Omnivore, June 2, 2004). I had never been there before and went on the web to investigate the establishment. I saw a listing that showed a review in City Paper by Richard Gorelick. It wasn't very complimentary, and I was thinking about scratching my visit to Nick's for dinner. I saw that the review was over two and a half years old, so I decided to chance it anyway.
Well, we were delighted with everything about it. The location, ambiance, and serving staff (particularly Christina). We got their oyster stew, fried oysters, and some scrumptious burgers. They went out of their way to please us. They made a blue-cheese burger for us that wasn't on the menu. The oyster stew was out of this world, and the other items couldn't have been better. So, I must tell you that you have done them a horrible injustice. Yes, maybe when you did this review things were as you described, but, come on, that was two and a half years ago. Either give them another review or take off the old one you post on the internet.
Don't you think that that would be fair?
Editor's note: Good news, The Perry Bible Fellowship fans: Nicholas Gurewitch's comic returns with new strips this week. Go to Comics for the triumphant return.
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