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Chalkley 101

Posted 9/5/2001

Kudos to Tom Chalkley for his article weighing the artistic merits and/or shortcomings of the Enoch Pratt Central Library's collection of portraits depicting the six Lords Baltimore (Charmed Life, Aug. 22). We readers were able to get a "glimpse" not only of the paintings themselves, but also of the characters and personalities of their historic subjects. Mr. Chalkley should consider a career writing textbooks; if he had been the author to whom I was assigned in my student days, I feel sure I would have fallen asleep in class much less frequently!

Anne Kidwell

Wiley Hall Is My President
Bravo, Wiley Hall III! Thank God someone has the courage to publicly condemn the unsavory practices of our nation's gun industry (Urban Rhythms, Aug. 15). One can only hope there's enough courageous judges in our gun-infested country that will allow these crucial civil lawsuits to go forward to equally enlightened juries.

To all the gun worshippers now frothing at the mouth: Why in the world should gun corporations have any special protection from civil liability no other industry has? Because might makes right? Because most politicians have sold their souls and no longer care what is right or wrong? Because the National Rifle Association has to justify its membership dues? Because you're afraid the government is going to send in the Marines to take away the gun you just hid under your pillow?

Come now, does anyone really need to own, or create a market for, Saturday-night specials, military assault pistols, military assault rifles, ad infinitum? Can't you stop some unauthorized villain going after your crown jewels with your very own hunting rifle or .38-caliber pistol? How much firepower does a law-abiding citizen need?

Just as the greedy, drug-pushing tobacco industry was held financially accountable for spiking nicotine, so too will the gun industry be brought to justice for its many sins. But, dear reader, don't hold your breath, it's going to take a lot of time and effort. For more information on how you cant get involved with this incredibly important issue, visit the Legal Action Project's Web page at

Dan Greifenberger

Theater of the Absurd
Where is the Movie Clock? For several weeks, the Movie Clock has disappeared and been replaced by something called the City Paper Movie Thing. Why? At first I thought it must be an oversight--sloppy editing, perhaps. But now I have come to realize that this new comparison chart is intentional.

My question is this: Since when did the movie theater become more important than the movie? Why do I need to know how much popcorn costs at one theater or another? If I really want to eat popcorn at the movies, I am going to buy it; however, it will not be the reason I went in the first place.

Is going to the "right" movie theater a trend I missed out on? Call me old-fashioned, but my priority is what film is playing and what time it starts. Since the Rotunda went dark, the only films I want to see are at the Charles Theatre. And, as someone who has gone to the Charles regularly for the past 25 years, I know their films change often.

I am sure that others are calling the Charles, like I, every few days to check the schedule. It would be so much easier to just return the Movie Clock. When something has worked well (and people depend upon it) for so long, why change?

Sharon Fried

Editor Andy Markowitz replies: Because it wasn't working well, at least not to our satisfaction. Most theaters could not or would not provide us showtime information by our Tuesday-morning deadline--which is why, out of more than two dozen local movie houses, the Movie Clock typically listed only six or seven. (And that's counting the porno theaters.) Rather than continue producing a half-assed version of something widely available in other media, we decided to offer something we don't think readers can get anywhere else, a consumer guide to local theaters. Especially these days, when the same movies play in virtually every 'plex, we thought some folks might want to know where they could take the kids to see, say, American Pie 2 for the least money or in the most comfortable surroundings. For those who did rely on Movie Clock, truncated as it was, we apologize for the inconvenience. You can get Charles and Senator listings at our online calendar, CPGo--click on "Film", or link from there to for other area theaters.

Clarification: Due to a printing mishap, the illustration credit on the Aug. 15 music feature about MTV2 was obscured. The artist was M. Wartella.

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