Thursday, July 30, 1998
First, I would like to commend Mr. Dickinson for his, in part, thoughtful and emphatic Public Forum in support of the arts in our community and beyond, nationally and globally >(CW July 16-22). However, although I agree with him that "real art" needs emotion to move its viewers, readers, and listeners, that emotional wavelength can be as varied as human expression is! "Passion, raw human sorrows and fears"? What about beauty in the natural or human world?
As a working artist of 29 years and an art teacher of 21 years, I feel his article is too simple in assuming solutions to problems that began for art/artists long before this time! Back when artists such as Michelangelo, or Leonardo da Vinci were working, not everyone supported or appreciated their work! They struggled with the church, politics, and economics of the times. Rembrandt, one of the greatest portrait painters of all time, died impoverished and underrated in his era. The painters of the Impressionist group broke from the salon style of painting, for a more immediate response to contemporary life around them. They were not widely appreciated nor economically supported! Vincent Van Gogh, Mozart, Beethoven, Blake, Tolstoy, Whitman, Gibran, Steinbeck...highly creative individuals out of our historical arts past, now considered great by the general arts-oriented public. Then or now...why has it been and continues to be a struggle for support for art/artists?
Thank you Mr. Dickinson for your view of how our art community has only itself to blame. As a layman and non-arts professional, you seem to see only black and white, while you miss all the subtle shades of gray in between!
Criticism and Compliments
This letter is to thank Sue Fishkoff for her article >(CW July 16-22) on the play Emotionally Yours. In his >(CW July 16-22) letter, Harvey Landa, executive director of the Western Stage got his dates mixed up. My involvement with Western Stage, was not until the latter part of 1991, which resulted in a negative experience for both of us. I won't address the other errors included in his letter. They say that criticism is the sincerest form of compliment. Be that true, then this 'no budget,' 'no facility,' 'no staff' theater company has been complimented by the most prestigious mega-budgeted, multi-staffed, multi-faceted theater company on the Central Coast. Thank you Harvey.
"NAFTA on Steroids" >(CW July 16-22), exposing the once-secret Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), truly our rallying call should be, "MAI is gonna get your momma--and your kids." We here, who work so hard to try to hold down the rate at which our resources are being taken for the profit of others, should be particularly sensitive to what foreign investors (a.k.a. big-time developers) might do to us locally. Mr. Anderson noted that the Ethyl Corporation, a U.S. company (its executives, that is) is suing the government of Canada because it is being blocked in its desire to introduce what many suspect to be a potentially toxic additive into Canadian gasoline. There's another case: The Metalclad Corporation (U.S.) is suing Mexico because that government won't let them commence operations with a waste disposal plant which could bring environmental disaster down on an unprotected population.
We have ample evidence that some extremely powerful transnationals are interested only in exploitation of human and other resources to the maximum. MAI is to be their new tool for doing it. But only if We, the People let them. Our elected representatives must be made to understand that we are not willing to relinquish to faceless corporate officers and "trade commissioners" control over humanistic and ecological protection legislation we've so grudgingly gained in this past century. The administration point-man is J. Lang, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative at 202-395-3553; or call your Senators and Representatives. A source of information and avenue for doing something about this situation is The Alliance for Democracy (AfD). (http://www.ea1.com/alliance or by calling 781-259-9395 or by writing to P.O. Box 683, Lincoln, MA 01773.)
Who Pays for "Free" Trade?
Thank you for printing the informative article by Mark Anderson on MAI. I would like to have seen it as the central cover story. Your placement of it may suggest to some that it is of less importance than our regional cuisine. I would also like to add one other organization to the list to be consulted for more information. It originates in Canada, but has pertinent MAI information of value worldwide. Citizens Concerned about Free Trade (306) 244-5757,
This issue is definitely not just about money, it's about power: Who's got it and who doesn't. If this agreement is ratified, those who are part of the multinational corporations behind it will be able to direct where the world's money and resources go, thus controlling the quality of life worldwide. Those who don't belong to this elite group will pay with their lives and the land they live upon.
Globalization is a complex beast. Please keep publishing articles like this one as new information becomes available.
I feel that my opinion was misrepresented in your paper in a recent "Street Talk." I was not asked, "How good are the bus routes?" I was asked about the bus system, to which I replied negatively. However, I stated that the service was lousy in contrast to the bus service I was accustomed to using.
I did not say that there weren't enough routes. Nor did I say that most drivers won't stop for you period. I said that they probably needed more bus stops (not routes). My comment about the bus drivers was in reference to trying to reach a bus stop in time. In my experience, most drivers will not stop and wait for you--even if you try to wave them down and let them know you're coming.
I find it interesting that my answer to the question, "Would you recommend the bus as an alternative to car travel?" was not included in my responses. I answered that, yes, I would recommend the bus service. If more people used the bus service, perhaps the service could be improved, as it would be economically feasible.
I was happy to give my time and opinions to your reporters. However, I am not happy that they presented my opinion incorrectly. For the record, it is not the routes or the drivers that cause my negative feelings toward the bus system. It is the time it takes to wait for buses in order to get from point A to point B.
DEBRA LYNNE EDWARDS SKENE
In last week's Chef Profile, we garbled the tale of two brothers at Hula's restaurant. Craig Delaney--who is married to Tina Hyatt-Delaney--is really the guy on the right. We apologize for any confusion our confusion may have caused.