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Dirty Pics Are The Least of My Concerns

Posted 4/30/2008

I am writing in regard to Alan Barysh's letter ("Stop Showing Me Those Dirty Pictures," The Mail, April 23).

Basically, I wonder why I have to see a lot of things these days. I wonder why I have to keep seeing and hearing about the war in Iraq. I wonder when the economy is going to get better. I wonder when our children are going to be able to attend public school and be able to intermix safely and congenially in a diverse and stimulating environment.

One thing I don't wonder about is the ads on the back of City Paper. It's really less than the least of my concerns. But since Mr. Barysh has chosen it as his pet peeve, I feel compelled to respond.

Whether you think it is porn or not, or even whether you like porn or not, isn't really the major concern here. What I think the concern here is, do people have a right to make their own decisions and deal with the outcome of those decisions? The models in the American Apparel ads are well aware of what they are doing, as are models in pornographic material. Whether they are male or female (as in the ads) they made a conscious decision to do this material, and as conscious adults I'm sure they will be able to deal with the outcome. That's what being an adult is all about. There is no cause for alarm. Adult entertainment has not only flourished, but it has heavily influenced other industries such as film, fashion, and music. It's not going away because human nature is not going to change! Ever since the beginning of time, people have been having sex and seeking more provocative ways to attain maximum titillation and stimulation. It's only going to intensify, so we might as well accept it. Trying to sweep it under the rug is only going to make it worse.

Besides, those models in the American Apparel ads are the best thing they've got going; their clothes are fugly!

Brian Bruckner
Baltimore

Too Many Ingredients

I find Richard Gorelick's writing very confusing (Omnivore, April 23). Whenever he has something to say about a restaurant or food, he never just says what he thinks of it. Instead, he praises, then equivocates the statement with a backhanded obfuscation. Or the other way around, following a word of warning about a dish with a weak compliment for some irrelevant aspect of its ingredient list. I can never tell if he likes something or hates it! I'm sure he knows plenty about food, but the way he writes is not descriptive or pleasurable to read, just confusing!

"Meli is intended, at least ostensibly, as a what-you-will kind of space." This sentence doesn't make sense.

Aran Keating
Baltimore

Why PU

The March 19 article ("Why PR," Mobtown Beat) says there is no sign that WYPR-FM's management intends to reinstate The Marc Steiner Show. No sign that reason will suddenly prevail at our beleaguered "public" radio station.

What's the only public radio station in the country that fires its most famous, iconic talk show host who is the heart, soul, and face of the station and who, just eight weeks after being fired, receives a prestigious Peabody Award? Why it's Baltimore's WYPR, which now stands out as the most badly mismanaged "public" station in the nation. Station manager Anthony Brandon can't be recognized because there's so much egg on his face.

At the April 15 meeting of WYPR's board of directors, which had approved the removal of The Marc Steiner Show, the station's Community Advisory Board (CAB) gave its report, which stated that "based on the overwhelming public response, we recommend that Marc Steiner be invited back." The report said that the board of directors needed to acknowledge publicly that it made mistakes in handling the Steiner situation and also in its communication with the CAB and "decisions were made that imperiled the station."

The CAB also recommended that there should be an external audit of the station's governance by a nationally recognized expert and the findings released to the public. The CAB stated that the composition of the board of directors should be more representative of the public it serves, which means more African-American members and people of different ages, backgrounds, races, religions, and education and income levels.

After the CAB gave its report, which was enthusiastically supported by lengthy clapping by the audience after every point, Barbara Bozzuto, the board of directors' chair, immediately rejected the major recommendation and said that Marc Steiner would not be rehired. The audience started booing. Bozzuto didn't try to restore order or start the process of answering the written questions that the audience had submitted after being told that they could not verbally ask questions but could write them. Instead she said that the board of directors would go into executive session, and they all left the room while the audience called for them to resign and booed them continuously. The board of directors' actions were disgraceful and undemocratic.

The 22-member board of directors looked like an entity from 1950. How could none of them even question its composition? It's composed of wealthy, privileged white men and women, with one African-American male member; no Latinos, no Asian-Americans. It's an elitist group that does not represent this community, this city, or this state. The board of directors should not be able to ignore the recommendations of the CAB, which is the public's representative. The CAB and the public are demanding that Marc Steiner be returned.

The public has to reclaim its public radio station. The people who pledged to the station during its recent fund drive should not pay their pledge. The public should sign the online petition to bring Marc back.

Kay Dellinger
Baltimore

Where Is Perry Bible?

There are only two reasons I pick up City Paper every Wednesday: This Modern World and Perry Bible Fellowship. OK, maybe three reasons. I also enjoy the American Apparel ads on the back cover. So I must know, is Nicholas Gurewitch on vacation, or has City Paper, in its infinite wisdom, elected to discontinue one of the more amusing comics on your pages? If you're looking to trim some fat, I can come up with a few ideas that would serve the readers better than this one.

John Eichelberger
Baltimore

Editor Lee Gardner responds: Our infinite wisdom has nothing to do with it. Earlier this year, Nicholas Gurewitch let City Paper and other publications that ran his strip know that he was discontinuing it, at least for the time being, a decision we announced in an editor's note in The Mail (Feb. 27). Since you're not the only person to ask what happened to PBF since, obviously the word didn't get to everyone. Hopefully this will help.

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