This morning I stopped at my local coffeehouse to pick up the Free Times. It wasn't in yet, so I grabbed Scene--something I haven't done in a long time, because it used to look like such the kind of paper that could only be read if it were free, sort of like the American Communist Party periodical.
I'm pleasantly surprised at your format and the intelligent people you have writing for you with their reviews and commentaries. I don't know if you intend to be competitive with the Free Times, but you very well could be. You are not stuck in the anti-mayor and city council rhetoric the politically slanted Times has chosen. Neither do you have the "Cleveland Kulture elite" attitude they and the announcers at WCLV have. That is refreshing.
Also refreshing to find is a clearly defined section of theater schedules. Much success in your future.
Eye of the (Bronze) Beholder
It's so rare that the Cleveland Museum of Art devotes quality space to photography that I encourage everyone to run to the Mimmo Jodice exhibit Mediterranean, which runs through February 21. For me it was profoundly energizing, poetic, daring, and must not be missed. I pray that the Scene's review by Charles Yannopoulos ["Greco-Roman Wrestling," January 14] will not discourage an experience that "vibrates ceaselessly" long after I left the exhibit--the images still burned into my brain.
The reviewer left the impression that the artist is forcing a viewpoint that only he is privileged to. Maybe I'm naive, but I thought the modern artist's job is to open our minds, to turn us inside out, and see the world with fresh eyes. He stops and makes us view his world through an altered state, but it is our world too, and we recover somehow changed. In a few paragraphs, a critique can cut through a body of work that may have taken an artist a lifetime of struggling to flesh out. Yannopoulos views the bronze head with one eye blacked out as a metaphor for the absence of insight. I see it as the mythic Wagnerian/Wotan black patched eye, the spiritual eye that sees into the other world.
Mr. Yannopoulos has every right to his opinion, but not at the expense of influencing others. Please see the exhibit for yourself, and let the magic of a master poet, or "undertaker" as Yannopoulos believes, weave his black spells.
You Call This Democracy?
I just read David Sowd's January 14 column ["To Hell With 'Public Opinion'"], and I have to say it's refreshing to read something on the current situation in Washington that is as intelligent as it is accurate. I've always felt that the so-called public opinion polls don't accurately represent what the majority of Americans think on a particular matter. Even if they did, David Sowd makes an excellent point which I have not seen made in any of the mainstream media I have heard or read: i.e., we don't live in a democracy, we live in a representative republic.
The founding fathers set up our system of government so that the people elect officials to represent them on matters of national importance. These officials, while they certainly can take into account the opinions of their constituents, are required to vote their conscience and what they think is in the best interest of not only their constituents back home, but the nation at large. The average citizen can't possibly hope to stay informed on every issue before Congress; that's why we elect officials whose full-time job it is to study the matters before them and vote based on what they feel is best for the country. If these uneducated (at least when it comes to our form of government and how it works) people who want public opinion to decide things got their way, nothing would ever get done. If you think there's gridlock in Washington now, just see what would happen if public opinion ruled. I have to say that I don't always agree with David Sowd, but I always find him intelligent and insightful, and in this particular case I agree fully with his assessment. Keep it coming, Mr. Sowd.
Medina Dad Unveils Credentials
I'm the "Dad in Medina" whom reader Ron Stra of Mentor believes to be "either naive, a liar, or both" [Letters, January 7]. Well, not that I expect him to believe me--it's far easier to assume that all parents prefer to delegate their responsibilities to others--but the correct answer is, I'm neither. I've been a professional writer for more than 25 years, and most of my work has appeared in comic books or comics publications. In short, I have been working in an industry whose customers are traditionally--though hardly exclusively--younger readers. During this time, I have spoken at libraries and schools, and even tutored gang members. For eleven years, I also owned and operated Cosmic Comics, a comic-book store and newsstand in downtown Cleveland's Colonial Arcade. Currently, I write a daily online column of comics reviews and real-life commentary for World Famous Comics.
Of course, my most important activity is raising my two young children. Because of the work I do, I'm quite aware of what's on the Internet, the bad and the good. That's why--to Stra's disbelief--I do supervise the time my kids spend on the Internet. And I take the time to explain to them why some websites, television programs, and comics are not suitable for them at their present ages. Silly me, I assume that parents are supposed to act like parents. I know what's out there, and I'm willing to spend the time to guide my children through what's out there.