Letters

08-31-00

How about some acknowledgement to the lesbian community, which has gone out of its way, through word of mouth only, to promote this fledgling business?

But the quote by owner Mimi Rodriguez in the article says it all: "People were coming up to me and thanking me for creating this place. Then I realized that people were thanking me for creating a lesbian bar. I was speechless."

I don't think anyone was thanking her for creating a lesbian bar. I think they were thanking her for creating an alternative to the seedy little dives in bad neighborhoods where lesbians are usually welcomed. Maybe instead of being speechless, she should have said, "You're welcome," or maybe even, "Thank you for coming."

Denise DeSio
Phoenix

Whine List

Skip to my luau: I read the "Hawaiian Munch" article (Carey Sweet, August 17) and I was really upset. The author clearly stereotyped the Hawaiian people and "put down" the Hawaiian culture. The people from Hawaii are very proud of their culture, and to have someone come into (for the first time, even) an establishment such as Aloha Kitchen that we all visit regularly and start making comments, very rude comments, about our food and the way it's been prepared was very unprofessional, not to mention inconsiderate!

Not everyone may like the kind of food we eat, and we're not asking or telling you to eat it, but I think that before you start making ignorant remarks about somebody or something, you should really step back and think about what you're saying. If you don't have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself. I guess you were not taught that as a child. Tell me, if I was invited to your house for dinner, and I said, "Awgh! What's in this dish you made, it tastes like you were fermenting it in the oven, what kind of nut would do a thing like that?", how would that make you feel? I bet you would probably tell me to leave, right? I understand that it might be your job, but you shouldn't discourage other people from trying it. How do you know what other people like? In the end, you told people to try it out, but the damage was already done.

Bottom line, that nut who decided to cook our dinner underground for 14 hours was my relative, and those Hawaiians in their shorts, tank tops and flip-flops are all my friends, and I am very happy to consider them "my ohana!"

Chad Jumawan
Tempe

Try Ice: Your columnist Carey Sweet must have taken an overdose of ugly pills on the day she wrote the article about Ice ("Artificial Hip," August 24). I wonder how she would feel if anyone attacked her as viciously as she attacked Ice. I, along with other gray-haired Arizona residents, have eaten at Ice at least a dozen times and have found the food to be absolutely delicious, and the staff friendly and willing to accommodate. I do agree the music is loud and not particularly to my taste. So when I dine at Ice, I choose to eat on the second floor. No big deal! If Sweet ever tries to start a new venture with a concept unfamiliar to a locale, I sincerely hope her critics will offer constructive criticism rather than an all-out attack. I'm sure that when Sweet grows up and matures, she will find a far better method to criticize a new business trying to make it.

B.L. Smyth
Phoenix

Wood Winds

Joy of sax: While I thoroughly disagree with Dave McElfresh's criticism of historic recordings by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman ("Weird Impressions," August 17), that is not the reason I am writing. As a reviewer, McElfresh is, of course, entitled (required, actually) to express his honest opinion. However, he created the erroneous impression that the music under review was universally reviled at the time of its creation, and remains so to this day.

Whether the writer does so deliberately or out of ignorance, I cannot say, but the unfortunate result is that a reader who was uninformed about jazz would leave the review with the impression that McElfresh was simply stating the prevailing view on the music of these two artists, when it would be more accurate to describe his review as an uncomprehending and reactionary rant.

This is not to say that Coltrane and Coleman did not (and do not) raise controversy, but by now their place in the pantheon of a very small number of jazz greats is secure, and this is largely because of, not despite, the later music under consideration here.

An analogy would be if an art critic were to dismiss a Picasso retrospective as mere childish scribblings, while failing to address the fact that in the opinion of most others they are among the greatest works of art ever created.

The final insult is when McElfresh cynically chides the recordings for their low sales potential. One would hope that a writer for a major publication would realize that not all music is meant to compete with Britney Spears, or Kenny G, for that matter.

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