Thanks for printing the story about The Plain Dealer/Donald Rosenberg debacle ("What Part of Critic Don't They Understand?", September 24). This is clearly a censorship/integrity issue, regardless of the varied opinions of Rosenberg's work. Cleveland deserves an explanation from PD Editor Susan Goldberg as to who or what pressured her into removing Rosenberg as critic of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Some years ago, I wrote an op-ed piece in The Plain Dealer challenging an ad in Newsweek claiming that the Cleveland Orchestra was one of the world's 10 greatest. I demanded to know who went around rating orchestras. I was called in by Executive Editor William J. Woestendiek and told that I could never write op-ed again, a ban that lasted until David M. Hopcraft succeeded this creep. It turned out that the man who rated orchestras was the Orchestra's PR guy.
Many members of the Orchestra told me they agreed with me.
Stephen G. Esrati
BRAZEN? YEAH, WE CAN SEE THAT
As a shy and bookish individual, I found Erin O'Brien's journalistic outburst, "Uncommon Sense" (September 24) decidedly brazen, thoroughly invigorating and refreshingly irreverent. In these times of ethical flexibility, the Rainy Day Woman's barroom profanity was justified, printworthy and starkly appropriate. That is to say, we have had our fill of stuffed shirts and glib commentary. We have had enough of bureaucratic prattle and partisan bickering. Some saucy humor serves to mitigate an otherwise grim political landscape.
Supposedly, it was Clarence Darrow who said it: "When I was a boy, I was told that anyone could become president; I'm beginning to believe it."
Willowick I find it very interesting that the letters printed regarding the Sarah Palin/pro-choice/no-choice essay ("The Conception of Slavery," September 10) were all from men. Granted, everyone is entitled to an opinion on every subject, but this is one of those "you-can-never-truly-appreciate-having-to-make-this-decision" things.
Years ago, I passed a pro-life rally being held at Public Square, and one of the speakers was a teenage boy. Somehow that did not hold the impact of a teenage girl speaking because, frankly, was this kid ever going to have to make a decision either way that would affect his body?
Even though I am pro-choice, I wish that birth control was more readily available, without any stigma, to the young especially, so that no young girl is so scared that she puts another infant in a trash bin to die.
WE'RE CONFUSED TOO
Every time I see a story on TV or in the PD or the (former) Free Times or Scene regarding the Convention Center ("Conventional Wisdom?", September 24), I always look for the one piece of information I am dying to know: How many conventions have been held at our convention center in years past? This most recent article finally tells me how many we "expect" we will have. How much of an increase is that over what our current center does? The reason I am so curious about this is that I worked across the street from our old center for nine years. It seemed to me there was a convention there almost every weekend and many during the week. What exactly are we missing out on without a new building?
Westpark Sarah Palin reminds me of a younger, better-looking version of granny from the old TV show The Beverly Hillbillies.
¥ Both are highly skilled at killing varmints with their "shootin' irons." ¥ Both are uncomfortable with "new-fangled" ideas like "science." ¥ Both sometimes speak ungrammat-ically. ¥ Both are suspicious of city folk. ¥ Both seem like they would be happier living in the 1800s.
Perhaps the real reason that Sarah Palin is running for high office is because she heard that the White House has a really great indoor "ce-ment pond."
IF YOU'RE NOT PISSED, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION
There is a seven-year-old musical satire playing at Beck Center in Lakewood. It has become more relevant than when it opened and won three Tony Awards. With the country imploding from corporate greed, Urinetown, the story of Urine Good Company's (UGC) fall, shows life imitating art. Political activists should be encouraging people to attend Urinetown to see their near future. The humor and excellent production help soothe the depressing picture the story presents.
The notion of paying to use the restroom does not seem so far-fetched. The only thing that saved us from taking our underwear off at the airport was the fact that the shoe bomber placed the explosives in his shoe instead of his boxers.
Lockstock and Barrel, the main police characters, have come to life as Blackwater after Katrina. The politician Fipp and wealthy businessman Cladwell represent quite a few of the folks at the top, starting with Bush and the late Ken Lay. Cough! Haliburton! Cough!
Disclaimer: I am the light-board operator for Urinetown. But I'm writing this as information more than promotion. I am a political activist. As I watched the show a couple times, I realized it is dead-on in its picture of today's corporate and political powers destroying the lives of average citizens. It now seems like a Michael Moore-Monty Python production.
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