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Reader feedback 11.19.03

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Tilling the garden

Mayor Johnson never had a chance of winning, and most, if not all, of the Democrats in the city knew that. Republicans all over the area were dancing in the streets when he decided to run. So why was he chosen? Even if he were the most qualified, several other local democrats including David Koon and Joe Morelle would have had a chance. So who insisted on Johnson?

            Was it his decision alone or did David Gantt decide? It makes no sense. What makes even less sense is that local Democratic leaders did not stand up and say "not so fast". It is one thing to run someone in order to make some kind of statement. but Bill Johnson is too good of a person to sacrifice. So who made the call? Why in the world would Democratic leadership select someone they knew would lose? It is infuriating to me as a former Democrat (now Independent) to see a party that claims to be so compassionate make so many decisions in the name of justice that ultimately cost poor folks dearly.

            The separation between the city and the county is going to get more extreme, and the upcoming budget crisis is going to provide political fireworks never seen in this area before. I only hope that when they are asked to make sacrifices, city leaders compromise by asking all of their constituents to give back. Too often these leaders cry about inequality but have no problem taking full advantage of the best things city living has to offer for themselves and their families.

            You want to help the poor by maintaining the garden? Fine, but don't be afraid to get knee deep in shit if the soil needs tilling.

            John Bliss, Rochester

Election wrap-up

In the recent election for county executive, a message from wealthy suburbanites to all the poor clustered in the city: "Drop dead!"

            Douglas Lyttle, Downing Drive, Pittsford

Lies win

Voters in MonroeCounty had a choice recently -- and blew it (or didn't bother to vote at all).

            I spent many hours volunteering on Bill Johnson's campaign, installing lawn signs, delivering literature door to door, making phone calls, and driving people to the polls. I recognized the differences between the candidates --- experience, character, vision, integrity --- and realized the long-term ramifications of the outcome of this election.

            I'd like to thank City for doing its best to inform people of the important issues facing this community. Unfortunately, too many people ignored Mr. Johnson's message.

            The youth of this community (those who haven't left yet) learned via this election that vision, experience, and honesty can be soundly defeated by lies, panic, misrepresentation, or evasion. It is ironic that those who complain about negative campaign ads help perpetuate them by voting for candidates who use such ads, or by not voting at all.

            Well, congratulations, Maggie; you "won." I pray that you find the answers to the problems facing this county. It was evident during the campaign that you didn't yet have them.

            But most of all, congratulations to you, Bill Johnson. You "lost," but you maintained your integrity and told the truth, and at the end of the day that's what matters. I have never been more proud to be a Democrat.

            Christopher Roesch, Gilbert Drive, Irondequoit

Pseudo-feminist?

Congratulations to City Newspaper and Jon Popick ("Sick-Boy") for participating in the sexism that so pervades mainstream writing regarding female actresses.

            In Popick's review of In the Cut (October 29), he emphasizes the graphic sex scenes by actress Meg Ryan (by graphically describing them himself), rather than discussing her performance as an actress (giving it one sentence), or even really discussing the movie itself clearly.

            His treatment of the sex scenes in the film encourages the typical media response to actresses roles: that is, giving them more attention for the sexual spectacle they produce rather than the quality of their work. This encourages the contemporary, sexist view of women that, while we may receive personal and professional achievements, ultimately we are there to be sexual objects.

            All Popick's description achieves is that the cinemas will have an influx of teen-age boys wanting to see the graphic sex scenes that, from this review, appear to be the entire content of the film. This effect seems antithetical to his review that, in reading between the sexual lines, essentially gave the film a bad review.

            Popick then adds insult to injury by referring to Ryan's breasts unprofessionally as "boobs" while in the same sentence describing them as "42-year old." which is obviously her age but as a descriptor of female breasts connotes the opposite of what our youth-obsessed culture deems valuable. The point of that paragraph (Ryan's steamy film attempting to negate her current sugar-sweet image) is a good one; however. it was made crudely. Popick then becomes a pseudo-feminist by ending his article with a criticism of the director's lack of a "robust" female role in this film.

            Sorry, Jon, but that does not get your previous sexism off the hook. Next time, try reviewing the film performances, directing, and other relevant matters and leave the graphic descriptions to Penthouse letters.

            And City, your front-page headlines do not need to reflect your writer's insensitive language.

            LindaBeth Nichols Flack, Chapin Street, Rochester

Which lives?

"The American death toll in Iraq has surpassed the number of American soldiers killed during the first three years of the Vietnam War."

            Where are all the right-to-life anti-abortionists? Why are they not screaming about the horrible loss of human life in this senseless war? Are they so blinded by their ideology that they will accept any number of atrocities as long as long as their goal is met?

            Bush can take millions of innocent lives and steal billions of dollars, and that's not a problem. But giving a woman the right to control her own body is totally unacceptable to them.

            Dale Carselli, Brockport

Missing Pethic

WGMC seems to have cancelled Tom Pethic's Saturday-morning jazz program. I used to look forward to it!

            Can we get Tom back by popular acclaim? Or shall we listen to another station?

            Noel G. Lawson, Daytona Avenue, Webster

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