Seeing Red, White and Blue
Michael Lacey's diatribe about Salt River Project and the controversial flag exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum was downright appalling ("Flag and Country Bumpkins," May 2). The article demonstrates Lacey's woeful lack of understanding and knowledge. Why does this guy continue to spout such slander? Lacey has exceeded the bounds of propriety by linking the name of Don King with Robert Vesco. King might be weird, but he's never looted a mutual fund or used drug profits to buy asylum from Latin American dictators. Come on, Lacey, be a man and apologize to Don King.
Perhaps quotes from other sources will establish how people in other times and places felt about the flag. "The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history. It represents the experience made by men and women, the experience of those who live under that flag"--Woodrow Wilson.
"There is the national flag. He must be cold indeed who can look upon its folds rippling in the breeze without pride of country. If in a foreign land, the flag is companionship, and country itself, with all its endearments"--Charles Sumner.
"A thoughtful mind, when it sees a nation's flag, does not see the flag only, but the nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag, the government, the principles, the truths, the history, which belong to the nation that sets it forth"--Henry Ward Beecher.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands"--Francis Bellamy.
"At no time shall the American flag be allowed to touch the floor or the ground"--United States Marine Corps manual.
I respect and honor our flag. I ask Phoenix Art Museum to do the same. Please close the current "Old Glory" exhibit.
William E. Holloway
New Times didn't check its "facts" about curator David Rubin's activities during the March 24 veterans protest of the Phoenix Art Museum's "Old Glory" exhibition. I was there, and Rubin was present throughout the afternoon.
For the record, he was neither invited nor scheduled to address the crowd. He graciously conducted television interviews and was on hand to discuss the exhibition with visitors, including myself and state Representative Scott Bungaard. If anything, Rubin took risks in presenting such challenging art in politically conservative Phoenix.
I found it interesting that Michael Lacey referred to the Kent State incident at ASU in his May 2 column. The controversy at Phoenix Art Museum has brought back memories for me, too, of the Vietnam war. I was standing at the edge of that campus flower bed in 1970, looking at John Duffy's men, thinking about being a flower child and soon having to crush a bunch of beautiful marigolds, while maybe some of John Duffy's men would have to crush me. I was real glad when Duffy, like Phoenix Art Museum director Jim Ballinger, decided that violence on top of violence would just make matters worse. At the first demonstration at the museum, I did hear one of the "farmers" tell his comrades to "leave your weapons outside." At the art museum!
Unlike most of the politicians knocking the show, I have seen it. I haven't heard one word in defense of the Kate Millett piece (the "flag in the loo," as Lacey called it), not even from defenders of the museum. I think that all it takes is a little exercise of putting one's mind back to the late Sixties, when we were in full knowledge of people daily being shot, blown apart, napalmed and maimed by land mines (as they still are), to have some genuine sympathy with the horror and anger that prompted Millett to create her unsubtle work. In those days, we had to say things very loudly to get the message across. Who would have known that just replaying the message in a historical context would cause such a ruckus?
Is Michael Lacey trying to out-Montini E.J. Montini? Or is Montini trying to out-Lacey Lacey? What a pair of spoofers, regarding Phoenix Art Museum's flag art show. These "writers" set out to get somebody upset--and thus ensure their "careers" of enticing the high school and college student "intellectuals" (self-anointed) into cases of the emotional shakes.
The laughable part is that Lacey and Montini wrap themselves in the Constitution as they horsewhip the exhibit's critics for wrapping themselves in the flag of patriotism! The result is all the rest of the USA thinks of all Arizona as a madhouse full of insipid, immature rednecks posing as museum "intellectuals" versus howling mobs of desert Bubbas. The rest of the USA may be correct!
After reading Amy Silverman's article "Dog Dead Afternoon" (April 25), I am convinced that Treva Slote did the right thing in mercifully ending Scooter's obvious pain. I also contend that the attending veterinarian's diagnosis of the dog's severe condition fully vindicates Slote. This dedicated woman should be praised, not condemned, for her swift and compassionate efforts on behalf of this tragic, dying dog.
I continue to fully support Slote and the vital work of the Arizona SPCA, whose dedicated volunteers tirelessly rescue sick and injured animals. I can readily attest to the integrity of Slote and her organization, which is genuinely dedicated to serving animals and their welfare.
I charge that Scooter's owner was grossly negligent in callously failing to obtain immediate and proper medical treatment for her ill pet. Those who truly love animals do not want them to suffer; they strive at all times to spare the animals psychological and physical trauma, even if humane euthanasia is the only way to end their misery. Humans receive care when they are terminally ill. Animals deserve equal consideration.
After reading M. V. Moorhead's shameful, unsophisticated movie critique of The Last Supper ("Dine Hard," April 25), I feel obligated to condemn this hypocritical magazine in a public forum.
Moorhead writes, "I can't think of a nobler purpose to which right-wing extremists can be put than fertilizing tomatoes." Here Moorhead directly states that viewpoints too far to the right are worthless. And, indirectly, he implies that we should rid our planet of people who belong to its right-wing sector. But how, exactly, should we negotiate their expiration? By killing them? By educating or reforming them? To nobody's surprise, Moorhead doesn't say, so I can only speculate as to what the writer meant: "Would someone please hurry up and murder these immoral, right-wing Neanderthals?" Moorhead obviously believes that it matters not how we shed our country of its right-wing thinkers, so long as we make it happen. Even if we have to see blood shed, eh?
Well, I've got news for Moorhead: We will solve the world's problems not through spiteful, divisive politics, but through a grassroots, nonpartisan display of love. It is a movement that requires tolerance--a commitment to migrate toward the political center. And it applies as much to New Times' liberal staff as it does to Rush Limbaugh and his frightening army of right-wing fascists. Try viewing the world through practical, logical, moderate eyes, and I guarantee that peace will manifest itself through the actions and language of our country's wonderfully diverse citizenship.
New Times is politically polar to Limbaugh, but in my opinion, both occupy the same criminal fringe. Therefore, I begin the search for a new entertainment magazine . . . one that won't waste column space with angry, "un-noble" rhetoric.
Editor's note: M. V. Moorhead made one overriding point repeatedly in his review of The Last Supper: The film paints a hypernegative, cartoonish portrait of the right, undercutting the picture's own attempts at satire. That you could have missed this point so completely, Mr. Perrine, indicates that you really should move on to less sophisticated reading material. May I suggest Reader's Digest or the Arizona Republic?
By the way, my staff is about as liberal as a shark with a hangover.
Government for the People
I would like to commend New Times for its continued exposure of corporate tyranny (e.g., "Parking Mirage," John Dougherty, April 25; "From Dust to . . . Golf?" Terry Greene, March 21, etc.). It is seldom that ordinary citizens take action on what they read, yet it is still important to publish these stories in hopes that someday they will.
Noam Chomsky recently wrote that the current mood of antipolitics has been carefully cultivated by corporate tyrants to distract us from what they're doing, and to get us to fear the one thing that might protect us from their depredations of private power--the federal government. Phelps Dodge cannot be influenced by the general public except through very indirect means, such as regulatory mechanisms which are weak and controlled largely by them and the government officials and lobbyists they choose as bedfellows. Phelps Dodge's decisions have a profound effect on us, yet we really have no say in them. And neither can we rely on the courts when wealth for the few becomes a substitute for justice. Greyhound is bought off by Jerry Colangelo's buddies like everyone else who serves the almighty dollar.
I have nothing against a clean, fair fight. Adversity helps us grow. But when one team is clearly disadvantaged by lack of funds, then the playing field is not level. Just because we don't always sense oppression by corporate tyrants doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The first step in abolishing tyranny of any kind is to refuse to bow down to it.
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