Letters

Tile Counsel
I just finished reading your article in the Phoenix newspaper ("Wordstock Nation," Dewey Webb, March 11) and it was such a masterpiece I just had to write and tell you so. I always get irritated when reading such articles because they always make us Scrabble fanatics sound like weirdos.

Yours did also, but it was written so well and so respectfully that I wasn't the least bit irritated. The truth is, we are weirdos! So bravo, bravo.

One subject you did not touch on was the issue of accepting a Universal Word Source--a list of words acceptable to all English-language Scrabble players around the globe. It's the hot topic of conversation these days.

Bob Lipton
via Internet

Very nice job, Dewey. Cute gimmick in the photo captions. Just one small correction: Where you describe "fishing" as exchanging a tile into the bag, much more often it simply means playing one or two tiles onto the board, since you can usually score 10 points for playing them, and must take zero for exchanging.

Joel Sherman
Bronx, New York

Taken for a Ride
The article on Frank Leyvas was very intriguing ("Fare Game," Chris Farnsworth, March 11). I hope that he gets everything he has asked for in his lawsuit. He should have been given a heads up about what was going to happen by the police.

Christine Moss Troutman
via Internet

Publish or Perish
Let me add to the Flash's "Mean Streets" (March 11).
Just as alcohol and driving are a bad safety combination, so is mixing politics and safety when that involves the safety of taxpayer-subsidized business profits. Also when traffic safety is a phony reason to eliminate criticism of city government.

This was the case when Phoenix outlawed homeless newspaper street sales. This was confirmed by Judge Katz in his Grapevine decision when he said the reason for the law ". . . may in fact be motivated by a desire to keep homeless people and undesirables out of public view rather than to make our streets safer." Add attorney Joe Abodeely saying, "This is a subterfuge, a ruse to violate the First Amendment of the Constitution."

Since the elimination of the Grapevine, free speech and free press for traffic safety, Phoenix has become one of the deadliest places in the U.S. to drive. This is like Inspector Clouseau, while citing a blind organ grinder for a lack of a city permit, proceeding to hold open a getaway car door for bank robbers. Funny for a Pink Panther movie, but not for death on city streets.

Herb. Knauss
Phoenix

Where It's Art
I wanted to thank you for your recent article "The Athlete and the Aesthete" (Matthew Doig, March 4). It is refreshing to see art being covered that is not being presented in the comfortable format within the expected art institution.

In Jake Harman's work, it is clear that artists are having to approach their work and their audience in different ways. Artists are no longer able to participate, nor are they interested in participating, in the limited venue offered by galleries and museums as their option to continue their careers. They are searching out more alternative approaches to art and ways to include the public into their journey. In your support of Harman's work, it is evident that New Times is offering the public new ways to interpret and experience art.

Art is more than objects to walk up to and view, and then walk away and decide if it is "good" or "bad." Art is about the experience and the lives of the people who are willing to engage with the work. Your article gave your readers the ability to experience an artist, his efforts and passion along with his work.

Please continue to cover more artwork that is being done in the Valley that continues to address the limitations placed on art. These events are not easy to find but will appear as performance art events and public engagements with art typically not found within the art viewing platform. However, starting at ASU and the art program is a good way to tap into this group of artists who are expressing themselves in different ways, like Harman.

Sherrie Medina
Phoenix

Gnawing Questions
In his response to Michael Kiefer's February 4 article "Indian Stew" (Letters, March 11), Professor Armelagos refers to the "disgusting" display ("prehistoric artifacts with modern odds and ends") pictured in the article in order to bring Professor Turner's motivation into question. It is, instead, Professor Armelagos' motivation that I must question.

To be offended or shocked by the pictorial association of human skeletal remains with that of a can of Campbell's soup is certainly one's prerogative. It is not one's prerogative, however, to use the perceived questionable taste of a picture (a subjective observation) as a basis upon which to question an entire body of academic work (an objective observation). This type of broad, generalized criticism is a powerful tool by which to influence those who may not have the inclination to look deeper into the details themselves.

Is Professor Turner interested in a scientific understanding of this issue? Based upon examination of the body of work and personal interaction with Professor Turner, my answer is yes.

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