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A Whimper not a Bang

Posted 1/21/2004

It's too bad that the last Political Animal column went to press before Paul O'Neill started to back away from most of the so-called "bombshells" (Jan. 14). Mr. O'Neill even said he would still vote for President Bush. There is no fallout and no surprises or contradictions. If Brian Morton wants to be so naive as to think that plans to invade Iraq were never hatched before Sept. 11, 2001, then he must be the only man on the planet who has not seen the movie War Games. Variations of all kinds against friends and enemies alike are played out constantly. It's part of military theory and preparedness. Mr. Morton's foot must be so far down his throat that his toes are probably sticking out of his ass!

C.D. Wilmer

Right On

I have just discovered Russ Smith's column, Right Field, after reading about him in a recent Style magazine article. I have enjoyed reading his past columns on your Web site, and will continue to read him weekly. It's nice to see a fresh opinion in your paper. Keep up the good work!

Marie Betz

Comics Capades

I open to This Modern World. Then I hunt down Derf. Tom the Dancing Bug is often good, too. I'm very disappointed in you. The Perry Bible Fellowship is already running out of steam

Will Werley

Ernie Pook's Philosophy

For many years I have read the City Paper to get my weekly dose of Lynda Barry, the American Socrates, the sublime, the superb, the insightful, the passionate voice of everything truly humane. But these last several issues, no Lynda. What gives? PUT HER BACK and in LARGE FORMAT so I can see every detail of her wonderful drawings!

Benjamin Feldman

Bolling Mad

Any chance of bringing back Tom the Dancing Bug? I really used to enjoy seeing Ruben Bolling's biting political and social satire in your paper every week. I realize that this comic is online, and that I could look at it on the Internet. However, the same is true of City Paper itself. (In fact, I'm writing this right now through There's something special about the print medium, though. One of the big reasons I used to pick up a print copy of CP every week was to see Tom the Dancing Bug, and now it's gone. Please consider bringing it back.

Mike Krebs

Heavens to Betsy

I'm not sure how City Paper has managed to confuse American Visionary Art Museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger with Gov. Robert Ehrlich--but it boggles my mind that it's been done! The Jan. 7 City Paper (Baltimore Weekly Highlights) incorrectly attributed ownership of finger paintings by Betsy the Chimp to local luminaries such as William Donald Schaefer, Rebecca Hoffberger, and John Waters. To set the record straight, William Donald Schaefer, Rebecca Hoffberger, and John Waters (as well as Maryland Institute College of Art faculty member Abby SanGiamo) have contributed their fond memories of Betsy the Chimp to the American Dime Museum's retrospective of her work. Actually, none of them owns any paintings by Betsy the Chimp. The exhibit is comprised of finger paintings loaned by the Baltimore Zoo and several local collectors.

The error was compounded in the Jan. 14 City Paper when the correction of the first week's article compounded the error:

"Correction: John Waters, Robert Ehrlich, and William Donald Schaefer loaned fond remembrances of Betsy the Finger-Painting Chimp, not paintings, to the American Dime Museum's exhibit of her work, despite what we wrote in last week's Baltimore Weekly Highlights. Sorry, all."

Robert Ehrlich didn't lend a finger painting by Betsy the Chimp, nor did he contribute a remembrance of her. I'm not sure if the governor owns a painting by Betsy the Chimp or if he has any fond memories of her--if he does, we'd love to know!

AVAM founder Rebecca Hoffberger does not own a finger painting by Betsy the Chimp but did contribute a remembrance of Betsy's career.

Mistakes aside, if you, the readers of City Paper, have any memories of Betsy the Chimp, we'd love to hear them too! The retrospective runs through March 21 at the American Dime Museum.

Ellen Garrity

American Dime Museum volunteer and Betsy the Chimp biographer

Editor Lee Gardner responds: You know the old saying about monkeys and typewriters? Apparently we were using our chimp fingers (and maybe our chimp brains) when we mistakenly added the governor to the list of Betsy's admirers. Now we're even sorrier.

More Monkey Business

I was startled to realize that Gov. Robert Ehrlich has now been added to the list of Baltimore luminaries including former governor and mayor William Donald Schaefer, filmmaker John Waters (also a member of the American Dime Museum's board of advisers), and American Visionary Art Museum founder Rebecca Hoffberger, all of whom have not lent a painting by Betsy the Chimp to the American Dime Museum. I am curious to know exactly how many government officials have not lent these paintings . . . and not owning one of these paintings to lend does not discount you from this important list. I am suspicious of all these well-known individuals who don't own any such painting and therefore are selfishly refusing to lend them to this fine museum. It makes you wonder exactly who else in Baltimore does not own one of these paintings and therefore is not lending them out. This has scandal and cover-up written all over it. I trust City Paper will rout out those people who have not lent a Betsy painting and let us loyal readers know the scoundrels by name. I thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Elizabeth Smith

Correction: Speaking of monkey fingers, contributor Nicole Leistikow's name was misspelled on last week's cover. Sorry, Nicole.

Editor's note: Charmed Life is taking the issue off and will return next week.

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