Getting down--and dirty--at Nita's Hideaway

Letters from the week of June 13, 2002

Hidden Agenda

Pickin' problem: Gee, where were the picket signs and holier-than-thou shouts from the members of Tri-City Baptist when Dr. Ralph Stanley played at Nita's Hideaway recently? ("Deathbed Conversion," Darren Keast, June 6) I didn't realize that he was a degenerate, a bad influence on me, not to mention that bluegrass lifestyle! And I thought only the Taliban were hiding in caves! "Footloose" is right. They need to pull their foot loose from their rectum!

Bluegrass Junkie
Via e-mail

Church weenies: I think the bible-thumper's logic is a perfect metaphor for segregation. They said Nita's just wouldn't fit in with a church-surrounded area? Keep the blacks out of the white schools? Sound familiar?

I'm in one of these bands that play these venues. The reason we've never played Nita's before was because of its condition. We want to play in a clean place. A business of this nature wouldn't bring graffiti. We (the bands and fans) want the area clean just as much as the next guy. If anything, you would think Nita's would bring a small boost to the economy in the area, more productivity would lure more businesses and more money for the city to keep the city clean. Am I right?

With as little as there is to do here for the youth, most turn to drugs and alcohol. Live music offers an interesting option other than drugs and alcohol.

I think the churchgoers need to loosen up. Rigor mortis isn't supposed to kick in until after you die.

Scott Hamilton
Mesa

Performance Reviews

Lady sings the blues: Gosh. What a great review for me ("Right to Sing the Blues," Robrt L. Pela, June 6). Only problem is I'm on the right-hand side of the photo, not the left!

I'd like to know why the reviews never mention how much the audience enjoys the show?

Thank you for the review and I hope you enjoy future productions better.

Rico Burton
Via e-mail

Difference of opinion: In response to your dim-witted idea of a review for Triumph of Love ("Love Stinks," Robrt L. Pela, May 30), I must say that you must have some major complex you're overcoming in your personal life. I've seen the show and I was on the floor laughing with the hysterics on stage. The music was incredible and the cast had more musical talent in their left thumbs than you ever will have your entire life.

Knowing that you write for a major entertainment paper here in the Valley puts a knot in my stomach and makes me squeamish just thinking about it.

Gregg Hopkins
Via e-mail

Coffee Klatch

Drive-by baristas: "The Last Days of Gold Bar" (Amy Silverman, May 30) offers a revealing glimpse at the inside customers but fails to capture the essence of us outsiders: the daily dedicated drive-thruers who patronize Gold Bar.

Over the last several years, my afternoon order for a "triple-shot iced skinny latte in a paper cup" has been flawlessly prepared by the time I reached the window. At first it was face recognition. Then it was a simple wave of the hand or crude sign language; I was usually recognized from three or four cars back. I realized my true status as a regular/addict when the barista had my drink ready to go, whether arriving by company or personal car, shirtless or formal, front seat or back, in any disguise. Even my pet boxer and now-deceased Dalmatian knew their fix was ready — they would slobber all over the backseat until they received their habitual doggie bone through the window.

While I occasionally broke the routine and wandered inside, my window view was best. The aroma of freshly ground espresso would float into my car. Like the Hitchcock thriller, Rear Window, I could catch momentary snapshots of the insiders at their tables conducting business or just hanging out — many of whom were pictured or described in your article.

I share the sense of loss with the impending closure of Gold Bar. Many thanks to P.Z. and his staff for a unique coffeehouse and my daily buzz.

Ted Hedberg
Tempe

Church People

Hush money: Your "Blame Game" article (Robert Nelson, May 30) goes to the issue of threatened lawsuits by the Diocese of Phoenix to silence the press and the fact that "parishioners will be forced to pay out millions more . . . because of the obstructionist behavior of their bishop." Where the money is coming from is a question that demands answers. There are denials there, too. I would like to see the County Attorney or the Attorney General's office look into possible violations in using funds intended for social services. The Catholic population has already seen enough money with wings on it going to pay lawsuits. The latest news of Monsignor Dale Fushek's payment of $45,000 to silence a man who threatened (or blackmailed) him was enough to gag many of us. Who gave that $45,000?

Monsignor Fushek is a good person but somehow he had the idea he could easily pay off some threat and not have to go to court. Attorney Mike Manning said it would have cost more to defend a lawsuit. Monsignor Fushek should have gone to court "proper" like people do who have no money. The $45,000 was not Fushek's to pay off blackmail.

So where did that come from? There's more than sexual abuse charges here; there are millions being spent and not accounted for. We deserve some answers. The "10-year-old policy of not talking to the New Times" shouldn't make you fellows feel too bad. The Bishop and his staff haven't been talking to parishioners either.

Virginia Chaffin
Phoenix

Altar boys: I am a faithful reader of the New Times. After reading your most recent article about the cover-ups in the Catholic Church, I hope you will allow me to provide some information that is not so much a "different" view, but a broader one.

For personal and professional reasons, I have become quite an authority on pedophiles. My fear right now is that, similar to the Boy Scout scare of several years ago, there will be a belief that by "cleansing" the Catholic Church of its scandals and crimes, we will address the enormous problem of child molestation in America. This is not true, and although it is human nature to focus on an identified source of evil to the exclusion of a larger problem, this particular issue is deeply ingrained in our society, and we need to take a serious look at how we inadvertently enable pedophiles to perpetrate their crimes.

Some facts: Pedophiles are not interested in adults for sexual activity. While many pedophiles will have relationships and marriages that serve as a cover for their real interests, their "orientation" is to children. I have heard stupid comments about how "if we let priests get married," or "if we send pedophiles to porno clubs" they would not molest children, and this is not true: Pedophiles are interested in children, some in very young children or babies, and some in adolescents.

Pedophiles can be very clever about masking their intent. They prey on children who are either not well-supervised or who are very much in need of attention and love. Many pedophiles gravitate to those children who have disabilities that affect communication: kids who are deaf, with developmental disabilities and other disabilities that make it difficult for them to express what is being done to them. Why? Because not only do these kids have difficulty in communicating, but even those adults who can understand them too often do not believe what they say or indicate.

The problem is not the Catholic Church or priests — the problem is that somehow our society has allowed pedophiles to flourish and develop networks that are surprisingly open. We need to root out, punish and separate pedophiles from our society in a consistent manner that complies with either laws that exist or new ones that we need to draft and pass.

Mary Wambach
Via e-mail

Art Show

Painting a different picture: Art in the Valley isn't about art. It's about being an "artist" ("Ghosts of Mars," Susy Buchanan, May 23). You would think the art world would be the land of free thinkers, nurturing creativity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My observation is they all did well in art school coloring within the lines. Choosing art as a profession, or a lifestyle, being creative and taking art a bit further isn't in 'em.

The galleries are no better. They want a known commodity. They can't accept you until you're accepted elsewhere. Being followers, playing it safe. The clique being more important that the work.

I have yet to meet a gallery owner that wasn't a liar or thief out to make a quick buck. Lookin' for a whore to pimp — after all, it's business.

And the local rags seldom write about local artists, preferring to write about others passing through. It's easy to write about a successful artist. How about writing about an artist simply because he/she is an artist?

Dressing like the Virgin Mary and handing out tortillas isn't art — it's getting attention by using religion to shock people under the guise of art. That's weak.

Also, being the best artist in Arizona is like being the best ditch digger; it matters not. I've seen your work, it's mediocre at best. Just because it sells doesn't make it good. Southwest "art" being a perfect example.

People here don't buy art to enrich their lives, they buy pictures to match the couch or because it's fashionable. It pisses me off. I was born here. I expect more from my city. It doesn't get better, it only gets bigger. It will always have that cowtown mentality (just look at all the pickup trucks).

Jealousy, spite and inflated egos without the work to back it up, it's a sad state and no one cares. There is no art in Arizona. It's not allowed.

If this angers you, good. At least that's an emotion. Now go and paint it.

Painter Don
Phoenix

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