Letters from the week of September 18, 2003

The murals on the side of monOrchid were painted by a local artist named Steve Yazzie. A few years ago he painted another mural, this one inside the Ullman Learning Center at the Heard Museum that deals with forced relocation of Native Americans in this state. His latest painting was just sold out of a Santa Fe gallery for a large sum of money, and he is definitely the next Phoenix artist to gain some kind of prominence on the national art scene. This is important because he has struggled and earned his dues around downtown for almost 10 years. For Phoenix to have original Yazzie murals in a downtown area would have become a huge feather in the cap of a young and growing city. Sadly, they are now ruined and will never be seen again. I'm not being dramatic. This is the truth, plain and simple.

Joshua Rose

Editor's note: Joshua Rose is the editor of Shade magazine, which is owned by Wayne Rainey.

Randy Andy

Journalism 101: In the great coliseum of journalism, as in the arena of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, the wordsmith is judged not only by the content of his writing, but the extent of his readership as well ("Shut Up, Andy!" Joe Watson, September 4).

Andy Rooney I know. I've seen him on television, I've read a couple of his books and, although he's not always funny, I enjoy his wit. He's almost a household name. And Joe Russomanno? Who the hell is he? Sounds like another loudmouth liberal vying for his 15 minutes of fame, just another rebel without a real cause.

And it seems as though we have a conundrum here, indeed. Just as a house divided against itself cannot stand, I don't see how in the hell a proponent of free speech can boycott a fellow free-speaking American. This would be like the Mormons in Colorado City protesting against Saudi Arabians for being polygamous.

And as for Rooney, well, the man has gone where mainstream journalism seldom ventures: into the realm of political incorrectness. The backbone of American journalism has turned to gristle and, unlike the cigar-chewing ass-kickers of the muckraker era, mainstream newsmen are little more than slack-jawed, obsequious bootlickers who dare not write anything that might lose them an advertising account or hurt middle-class America's little feelings (New Times excluded, of course).

I wonder if Russomanno has stopped to wonder if perhaps some minorities, women and gays laugh at Rooney's antics, too. And Rooney does poke fun at us straight, white Americans, too, with our fabric softener, gas-guzzling SUVs, odd kitchen gizmos and unexplainable eccentricities. Hell, people in general are funny.

And why pick on an old guy like Rooney when there are tons of hardened rap artists blatantly badmouthing women and gays unchallenged? I'll tell you why: because Russomanno knows that a guy like Rooney won't sock his teeth down his throat.

I don't think Rooney's barbs are intended to be hurtful. After all, we're talking about a man who grew up in an era when "gay" still meant "happy" and rap was something you did on wood for good luck. I think if Joe were to read a couple of Rooney's books, he'd see that if the old journalist oversteps the sacred bounds of political correctness, it is usually a rare, daring exception, not the norm.

Have a little fun and stop being such a candy-ass, Russomanno. You're just jealous because you've worked so hard and your shitty book isn't selling, while Rooney just farts and his books fly off the bookstore shelves. If you were a real journalist, you'd have the guts to interview the old man for an objective, fair news story. At least then we'd know who the hell Joe Russomanno was -- he'd be the guy who interviewed that famous satirist, Andy Rooney.

Robert Stevens

Search and destroy: It's no surprise to me that an ASU professor has decided that freedom of speech only applies to some people. After all, most public universities today are nothing more than domains of left-wing, feminist ideology.

And what is feminism but the promotion and elevation of some people, at the expense of others?

Joe Russomanno is just being a good little masculine apologist and doing what he has been trained to do -- seek out and destroy (or at least hamper) independent thought everywhere!

Trudy W. Schuett

Gay Writes

Is he or isn't he?: Where in the world did Michael Lacey get the idea that Terry Goddard's sexual identity was in question ("Grooms on the Cupcake," August 28)? As someone who has known him since 1977, when he was for all intents and purposes living across the street from me with the woman who is now his wife, I am telling you he is straight.

I would accuse Lacey of trying to sell more papers by making up inflammatory garbage, but I just remembered. Your newspaper is free.

Lynn Gehr
Via e-mail

Judge not: I realize that as a community at large, Arizonans tend to be a bit conservative. I mean, heck, we all act like the church runs the world sometimes. No, really, I mean, who cares if gays and lesbians marry?

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