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Reader Reedback 1.1.03

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Mindless masses

Although I'm not surprised by the shallow, hypocritical over-reaction of some readers to the "Mammary Monologues" cover (November 27), it is still deeply troublesome. That many of these people ignore the countless misrepresentations and exploitations of women in music lyrics, billboards, television... you name it, stretches beyond narrow-mindedness.

                  To highlight a recent example: A local radio station used voice-over samples such as "so I pulled out of her ass and left the room" as noontime promo material. (This, of course, made for interesting car-ride conversation with my 8-year-old daughter.)

                  As a community, we let epidemics such as eating disorders and rape invade our children by turning a blind eye. Yet when breasts are bared to complement an insightful and informative article, all hell breaks loose. Pathetic.

                  Even worse is that some say, "I was disgusted to see women's bare breasts," or ask, "Who wants to read about private body parts and women's angst?" The only detail of Mr. Schimke's work I found worthy of objection was that the typical white woman was the only female form represented.

                  I must say, the grace and respect with which Ms. Towler responded to the community's insular, hyper-conservative outcry maintains the character of City and is commendable. This is the very reason City is the well-loved, widely read rag it is today.

                  Thank you for not apologizing.

                  Alicia C. Ainsworth, Garson Avenue, Rochester

Cobbs Hill ambiance

The essay about Cobbs Hill Park was exceptionally well written ("Cobbs Hill Diaries," November 13). Please convey my appreciation to the author, Rich Gardner, for his perception and graceful prose.

                  Certainly his training in the earth sciences contributed to his ability to convey the overall ambiance of the park. It is unlikely that I will ever arrive at the park during the early morning hours, but I vicariously enjoyed the experience. Almost makes me want to get up early and check it out.

                  And how I would have liked to see that raptor swooping and soaring. It's a special moment to experience something unique and know you may be the only one to witness it. I trust there will be more articles by Mr. Gardner. He is an excellent writer.

                  Kathryn Hill, High Gate Trail, Fairport

Mental-health focus

Thanks, City, for the feature coverage of the show at High Falls, "Rejoice in Creativity," produced with the Mental Health Coalition of Rochester. Your extensive reporting and the pictures published mean greater awareness for a deserving exhibit. As a city visitor center and a State Heritage Area, High Falls can better serve Rochester with displays combining art and social interests like mental-heath care.

                  When writer Chris Busby called to check the accuracy of facts in the article he'd written, he got a surprise. In addition to being the show's curator, I am an exhibitor. The rule to submit work for this show was that an artist be a mental health-care recipient. That's me. Joyful mental health-care recipient.

                  Back when the show was first agreed on, I was asked if I would be a judge. I said no; I would rather be an exhibitor. I believed that witnessing my mental health-care history by showing my work with other recipients would mean more to me than judging the work. I've benefited from mental-health counseling for years: personal counseling and family counseling most notably. The benefits of counseling led me to participate and ignore any possible stigmatization, reprisals, or even press reviews.

                  Recently, in a waiting room before a counseling session, I watched a couple noticeably shrink as a practitioner requested that they participate in a survey to evaluate a counseling program. Their acute concern for anonymity made me wonder what stigma they might face: their own? Family? Friends? Job? Would more people seek care if it were more openly accepted? Would care programs be more available if care were more openly accepted?

                  City's article singled me out of the group of art exhibitors as if a line were needed between me and those "afflicted" with other mental-health needs and issues. That might not be the most enlightened approach. I chose to stand with my fellow exhibitors asking that you acknowledge the range of our group's care experience.

                  Regarding comments on any fundraising aspect of this show, may I point out that the exhibit was never intended to be a fundraiser, and that none of the parties involved thought that. It was intended to be an art exhibit, pure and simple. High Falls art exhibits are fully accessible, free, and open to the public. The sale of artwork benefits the artists themselves.

                  Thanks again for the ample coverage.

                  Sally Wood Winslow, artist exhibitor and High Falls education program and fine art director

The imperialists

The state of the United States is this: As of September 11, 2001, the US Constitution is no longer in force. Government is now by imperial will.

                  The object of the regime in Washington is the establishment of an extreme right-wing conservative --- that is, fascist --- dictatorship. The overwhelming necessity in a dictatorship is total control of the population, which constitutes its greatest potential enemy. Thus the USA Patriot Act, with its provisions for surveillance of the people by monitoring all the electronic activities of the entire population.

                  The goal of the regime is tyranny at home and total world domination abroad. The greatest enemy of the people who live in this country is the Bush regime. People must wake up to the fact that George Bush is a sniper, and we are all his targets.

                  Earl W. Blizzard III, Limerick Road, Linwood, New York

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