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Irreconcilable Differences

Posted 2/20/2002

As a lady with a huge Sun-article picture of Michael Jordan on her desk captioned "The Professor Is Back," I felt compelled to give my opinion on Wiley Hall III's piece "Let's Stay Together" (Urban Rhythms, Feb. 13). And as Wiley said, "everyone has an opinion on this subject." The first mistake Wiley made was comparing Bill Clinton to MJ. No one I know wants to be like Bill, but everyone wants to be like Mike. As for Juanita Jordan, she strikes me as the kind of class act who would have handed MJ a definite divorce if he humiliated and disgraced her (and the kids) like Bill. I don't get the feeling Juanita's morals and ethics can be easily sold for a Senate seat (although $400 million might cause indecent proposals). MJ's biggest fault is a passion for the game. Bill is still confused about which head should instill passion into the young!

I gave my "Bobby Brown" the boot 13 years ago, and my girls thank me daily for the easy decision. Children need parents who can be good mentors and role models, not an episode of Dallas. I disagree with you and Oprah Winfrey that divorce hurts kids. I think it only hurts kids if adults pass their junk. So to summarize the purpose of this letter, I would love to be like Mike, although Mike and I need to talk about kids who can barely read and write wearing $200 Air Jordans. That's for another letter! Exhale Shoop Shoop!

Sharon Wright

Critical Aye
Congratulations on Lee Gardner's keenly perceptive review of the Situated Realities exhibition at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Gallery, Feb. 6). In a city that has been plagued in the past two years by a dearth of informed art criticism in the popular press, Gardner's very real passion and profound understanding for his subject comes through in every line--a much welcome addition indeed!

Steven Scott

Air Can Hurt You Too
I was very interested to read "Air Waves," the report on the South Baltimore air-pollution study (Mobtown Beat, Jan. 23). As an individual, I found it empowering.

In some ways, it would have been easier if the Johns Hopkins researchers had been able to say that cancer risk in the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay neighborhoods was increased by local industries. Then we could lay the blame at the hands of somebody else.

But rather, the study shows that we as individuals are more in control of our immediate environment than we might believe. The "main drivers of risk," we are told, are largely within our choice range. In fact, it is easy to live without the toxic culprits mothballs and toilet deodorizers. If we do so, the pollutants in our households--and, thus, our cancer risks--will decrease. Living in a city, we do not have to rely on gas guzzlers for our transportation. We have power right now to help clean up our immediate environment--in our homes and in our choice of transport.

As Hopkins researcher Devon Payne-Sturges pointed out, we must educate ourselves on how to live by ecological means. That is a strong message that we can and should all act on today. Thank you for the interesting article.

Anne Outwater

Rock this Way
After reading the article on Limp Bizkit, I felt compelled to write (Music, Feb. 6). Limp Bizkit deserves its name -- they are limp. But more importantly, they are not rock 'n' roll. Like most of today's "rock" bands, they try to rock out, but with a bit of punk/grunge/hip-hop influence to their music.

Real rock and rockers, to use a phrase popular today, "don't go there." You won't hear any of that contemporary noise in the music of Led Zeppelin, the Who, or even Dokken, Queensrÿche, or Iron Maiden.

The main problem is that both the youth of today and the media have turned their back on rock 'n' roll. Anytime someone like Britney Spears or any rap/hip-hop artist is considered a "rock star" or is included on a "rocking" New Year's Eve show, true rockers groan with frustration.

The white guys of today have rejected rock in favor of becoming "gangstas" or "yos." But don't worry: A new rock 'n' roll revolution, led by folks over 40 who know what real rock 'n' roll is, will come about. And as long as I'm alive, rock 'n' roll will never die.

David Stepalovitch

Finger Work
In your article about Balthus you mention that the painter's infamous 1934 painting "The Guitar Lesson" depicts a young female student and her female teacher ("People Who Died: The Art of Living,"). You go on to say that whatever they are engaged in "most definitely has nothing to do with the guitar."

Please look at the painting again. What they are doing has everything to do with the guitar. The painting is not about what is going on at a guitar lesson. This is the guitar lesson!

John Simmons
Falls Church, Va.

Corrections: The photograph accompanying last week's No Cover should have been credited to Uli Loskot.

The classic movie The Third Man was mistakenly listed in last week's Film Clips as playing at the Charles Theatre Feb. 16. It is actually playing Feb. 23, and is correctly (we hope) listed this week.

Editor's note: Feeling chilly? Get your temperature rising by sending us information on summertime events and attractions for City Paper's annual Sizzlin' Summer calendar. Send the lowdown, plus photos if you have them (sorry, they can't be returned), to Sizzlin' Summer, c/o Ronald Hube, City Paper, 812 Park Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201; fax: (410) 523-8437; e-mail: Deadline: March 10.

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