SKIP, OLD BUDDY OLD PAL, YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY GOT TO GET OUT MORE
It was with great interest that I read Steven Almond's article about defaulted message boards ("I Have Defaulted...and I Can't Get Up," August 26). As an artist whose medium often involves such items as road signs, government-ese, and institutional symbology, I have found the use of the "I Have Defaulted" term particularly intriguing. As a matter of fact, I have photographically documented all I can find and named those collectively defaulted at any given moment "Friendly Fire."
Government symbology and language is basically passive direction or, if you will, passive dictation. These signs and phrases give a sense of order and allow what amounts to an element of minimal control. A light but firm grasp that can quickly be tightened should chaos reign.
"I Have Defaulted" is the first and foremost to strip away the facade of false power the authorities (take your pick of which one) utilize to convey the image that they are in control.
"I Have Defaulted" is a metaphor for the human condition that believes power and might can triumph over spirit. "I Have Defaulted" does not utilize direct confrontation to control, but instead admits to its frailties, its shortcomings, exposing its own soul and laying bare the inadequacy of its mechanical function and consequently rendering itself more human than many of the drivers who speed by it daily. By surrendering, "I Have Defaulted" wins. The purity of its statement catches one off guard and therefore commands our attention.
Reading through Mr. Almond's article, I could not discern his point. He seemed a bit uncomfortable with the humanenness of the statement, yet offered no resolution. Perhaps Mr. Almond is more comfortable being controlled. Perhaps I just didn't get it.
At any rate, "I Have Defaulted" is a refreshing break from the normal data dictated to us via the government and could lay the groundwork for meaningful change in the way the government speaks to its people.
Skip Van Cel
MARIJUANA MAD MEAL MAVEN MALICIOUSLY MAULED MUNCHIES
After reading Rafael Navarro's review of one of my favorite restaurants, Le Festival, I immediately arranged to have lunch there with a friend ("French Miss," August 5). My dining companion, being more of a "Le Festival regular" than I, was absolutely astonished when I faxed him Navarro's absurd review. The restaurant in question is still staffed with the highest level of service personnel I have ever encountered; the place is beautifully appointed as far as linens, decor, and such; and the food, as we found out during lunch, is still as superb as ever, which is probably the reason that we noticed the same luncheon diners' faces that we have seen there regularly for years.
Mr. Navarro obviously got his lines crossed on this one, or maybe he's been inhaling the substance which he may be smoking.
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Michael S. Mills
LIKE, TOTALLY WARPED
A quick comment about Rafael Navarro's review of Casa Rolandi ("Price-A-Roni," July 22): All wrong and totally unfair. This guy's style of writing and taste in food is totally warped and his comments are uncalled for. How do people like Rafael get jobs like this? Please get a real restaurant critic who knows food and good restaurants.
Name Withheld by Request
MICHAEL DE ZAYAS IS A BONEHEADED DWEEB!
If I write a letter to the editor, I wonder what the headline would be.
Michael de Zayas