Letters from the Issue of April 13, 2006
Or as dangerous as theater can get, anyway: As Ed Bullins's literary representative, I thought it might seem inappropriate for me to be writing to New Times about Joanne Green's excellent review, "Devil Inside" (April 6). The play, The Taking of Miss Janie, which is being done at African American Performing Arts Community Theatre, was written by Mr. Bullins. But here I am.
Just the fact that in our dumbed-down world a new company would choose to do a work this demanding and dangerous shows how lucky South Florida is. The cast and management have created something both great and thought-provoking.
Mr. Bullins is ecstatic that this work, once so revered yet now so unjustly neglected, has been offered an opportunity to speak to a new generation. And when people see the work, they might be startled. Though it is nearly 40 years later, nothing much has changed except for our fashion sense and slang.
Thank you, Mr. Harrell, for such a rare opportunity. And thank you, Ms. Green, for encouraging theater-lovers to take a chance on something that will not leave them comfortable.
Show Manny the money: The cover story in the March 30 issue, "The Terrorist Who Wasn't," documents how Hollywood cops arrested a downtown businessman on a bogus charge. Have the Democrats who run city hall asked their police department to investigate this and apologize?
What's more, the article showed how the Republican-run federal government then held Mandoah "Manny" Ebaid for almost a year, believing he was a terrorist. He wasn't. Manny is back running Exotic Bites on Harrison Street, where I just ate a delicious gyro.
Unfortunately his arrest prompted Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti to tell the Miami Herald that "You don't expect someone like that to be living in the community."
Has the mayor apologized for this remark? Don't Democrats slam the Bush administration for usurping our civil liberties under the guise of waging a war on terror? And what is the difference between radical, right-wing Republicans and Hollywood (Florida) Democrats who cater to the wealthy and convict people before they've been tried?
Still, I'm hoping Hollywood Democrats will redeem themselves. Why don't they fork over some money and/or land to help Manny open the falafel restaurant he planned to start downtown before local and federal cops almost destroyed him and his business? This transaction would show that Democrats can still act like Democrats.
To CBS 4 reportage: I found Jeff Stratton's article about the retribution of the Broward County PBA, "Calling All Cars" (March 23), very informative. The incident and New Times coverage were featured on CBS 4 last night. I went to the Broward County PBA Website and then sent the executive board this e-mail today:
"You people are unconscionable! I have disdained police for most of my adult life not an innate dislike, but one that has been cultivated by the police themselves.
"This little episode of the Broward County PBA just confirms anew those other incidents, which have built my dislike of police over the years. To target this reporter with a BOLO is in bad taste at best and can only result in bad public relations. To put his personal information on the Web was illegal, and it should not have taken a lawyer threatening lawsuit for you in the law enforcement business to understand that. You not only jeopardize this man, but his family with such underhanded and illegal tactics.
"We all have to suck it up and deal with difficult situations in whatever business we are employed. To expect highly paid and trained police officers to act professionally is not too much to ask. To expect them to act as public servants instead of some highly armed thug is also not too much to ask. If those cops on camera weren't pigs at heart, they never would have looked so bad, and to blame the messenger for making those cops look like a bunch of pigs is ludicrous.
"I am likely not the only person out here who has had genuine bad experiences with cops who have formed their own little armed club called öus against them.' I have never donated to the PBA, and have always politely declined when called. Rest assured, the next phone solicitor will not get a polite answer, and all my friends and acquaintances will be alerted to the petty, underhanded type of organization that is the PBA."
For Johnny Boy: Your man Francisco Alvarado is still on it with his amusing story, "Johnny Too Bad" (February 23), about Johnny Winton's stint as an obnoxious, belligerent, and outright pompous ass of an MC at the opening of One Brickell Broadway a rental property. I guess rental-party MCs are used-car salesmen compared to the $900,000 studio-purchase-price condo parties. Mr. Alvarado might have taken some poetic liberty in his report, such as: Winton, who supplements his $58,200 salary with as many complimentary all-you-can-eat buffets, free swill, and pockets of commission payola while loudly smacking his lips on the ass of the potential management company.... I've done a few of these events duh! how else would you have a $100K income from property management? We would like to know what kind of cheap crap epicurean delights Johnny was serving (probably catered by Hooters). Besides making an ass of himself and wiping the brown stuff from his lips, he had no reservations about implementing a Napoleonic insistence that the crowd listen to his developer buddy's sales pitch. Then he became insulted when no one cared and mentioned, "The proper protocol is for me to connect my brain to my mouth before opening it big enough to shove both of my feet in."
Surely a seasoned "commissioner" such as Johnny Bad Apple is well aware that people don't give a shit about a new condo, rental building, or anything else that offers free food and drink. They just want to have a good time. Sounds like it's Sir Johnny who needs another drink. Why not make it a (bad) apple martini? They're free.
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