Dan Savage is entertaining. The Nose is more than occasionally enlightening. Wiley Hall is always relevant.
It's refreshing to me that somebody other than myself doesn't like Robert Ehrlich. Thanks, Brian Morton (Political Animal, Sept. 25). I'm up to my ass in Ehrlich--every third vehicle I see on the road has an Ehrlich bumper sticker; every third house has an Ehrlich sign on its lawn or front window. Every other small store that isn't in an enclosed mall has Ehrlich on its window.
The gang of loudmouthed right-wing assholes infesting AM talk shows make it sound like Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has a portrait of Lenin on her wall. I wish, like Alan Keyes and Newt Gingrich, that Ehrlich would be history after November. I wish Marylanders would look very closely at Ehrlich's voting record (which rivals Tom Delay's). I also wish it would rain beer.
Gerald Ben Shargel
For the past 20 years I have taught writing and literature at various local colleges and prisons. My paintings have been displayed and sold at the American Visionary Art Museum since 1997. Such credentials surely allow me to be--as one letter writer requested--one of the longed-for "people here in Baltimore qualified to judge" your recent comics contest ("Taste Like Chicken," Sept. 11).
Accordingly, I find Taste Like Chicken to be the superior entry. It is absurd, cobra, dada, ludicrous, unpretentious, and hilariously stupid--the lone entry that would appeal to both SpongeBob SquarePants and Jean Genet.
I think the letter writers who bemoaned their own entry's rejection revealed sour-grape sentiments, which are embarrassing to read (The Mail, Sept. 25). Those letters, truly comic with their mincing bathos, ironically invite their writers to take stock, wake up, and--dare I say it?--taste the chicken.
This letter is in reference to your Best of Baltimore issue. "Best Wannabe Williamsburg"? Hampden (Sept. 18)? Have any of your writers been to either of these places?
First of all, Hampden is a pretty disgusting place. Since my mother moved there two years ago, her house has been broken into at least five times. The "locals" are not charming. For the most part they are white trash who don't want their neighborhood invaded by anyone with an education.
Sure, Hampden has a few cheap restaurants and quirky shops, but it is a completely different place at night. Especially for those who live there. Hampden is not what kitschy assholes like John Waters (or your writers) make it out to be. It is a very depressing, very scary neighborhood. Hampden is just as overrun with junkies and teenage mothers as any other ghetto. This just happens to be a white one.
So where are the galleries? Where can you go see a decent band in Hampden? Your paper makes Baltimore an even more embarrassing place to live than it already is.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201