Letters from the Issue of January 10, 2008

A Wicked Check into the Boards

Chris, can you skate backward?: Brett Gillin proves in his January 3 article "The Whiny One" that he knows nothing about hockey or Sidney Crosby. It's one thing to talk about something he knows about, but it's another to repeat things he has heard through other outlets. Gillin should stick to what he knows — teams with losing records in Miami — and leave hockey discussions to those who know what they are talking about. Miami will never bring home a Stanley Cup ... more likely the team will get relocated to a true hockey market.

Christopher Smith


Sidney Crosby

Virginia Beach, Virginia

How Did He Know We're from Coral Springs?

Suburban zombies in SUVs are following you, Johnny: Wow, this is so cool! I can't believe the group of douchebags in Elyse Wanshel's "Dead but Havin' a Good Time" (January 3) got an article in New Times. They are almost as lame as Insane Clown Posse. What's next? Are you going to report on middle school student antics at Dolphin Mall? Give me a break. Go back to Coral Springs or wherever.

Johnny Delacroix

Via Web commentary

A Reviewer's Credibility

Under assault by a lawyer?: Viewers often take issue with theater reviews based on artistic differences. My issue with "2007: The Moments in Review" (December 27) by Brandon K. Thorp is its vituperative, personal attack on the artistic director and playwright of the award-winning play Defining Code Red. Months after New Times hailed the play as Best New Drama, Thorp writes a nasty, sophomoric little piece that takes cheap shots at playwright Justin Koren based on nothing more than a "slimy feeling" that appears to have come over Thorp like a hot flash. How does New Times reconcile his careless, catty comments with the original glowing review of what you called "the gutsiest play" with "scenes that [the viewer] will remember months later, more clearly and more powerfully than the intervening months themselves"?

First, Thorp complains the media event surrounding the play "outstripped the tragedy," which was the root and inspiration for Koren's script. How is that a legitimate criticism? Art has the power to breathe new life into tragedies, enabling real events to transcend the trash pile of yesterday's news; that is exactly what Koren achieved in this theatrical masterpiece. If the play indeed captured more attention than news coverage of the tragedy, isn't that a testament to Koren's art?

Then there is Thorp's odd, unfounded pronouncement that Koren's motivation was narcissism. The play is not in any way the showcase of a narcissist. The work, which is not at all about Koren, speaks for itself. Its subject was a news story that would have long been forgotten but for scenes from Defining Code Red that are forever seared into its viewers' psyches.

Finally, Thorp makes a mockery of the word evidence by pretending there is any that bolsters the claim in his rhetorical indictment which asks the reader to consider "how few questions were asked by the play" and "how little" was "learned from it." Somebody, please flip a light switch for Thorp! The play was never meant to be didactic; it is a theatrical production!

Koren's play reaches a broad range of viewers in ways that press coverage never could. The play evoked deep responses from the audience and engendered much necessary discussion in the community. There is only one word in Thorp's piece that's right on the money: genius. Defining Code Red was a work of genius beautifully, touchingly revealed in Koren's dynamic script and powerfully delivered by an exceptionally talented, formidable cast.

New Times's about-face is a betrayal to readers that speaks volumes more about Thorp than it does about Koren or his play. How the reviewer will ever redeem his credibility after this is beyond me.

Maria B. Shohat, Esq.


Half Nelson

Whole pity: After reading Tamara Lush's article "Merry XXXmas" (December 20) about bondage, I came to the conclusion that most of the folks involved in these activities are reacting to improper potty training. After all, the earliest lessons one learns often include spanking, punishment, humiliation, etc. It might manifest itself later as inflicting punishment on oneself or others. I am fortunate I had civilized parents. My best to Nelson Suarez and his crew, and may they soon get over it.

Bob Ronco

North Miami

Unintended Consequences

From the Dud-man: John Dudley's December 20 letter of outrage regarding Jason Handelsman's story about Bigg D ("Bigg Pimpin'," December 13) was so unintentionally funny and full of highlights that I had to go online and read the whole article. It was fun too.

M. Miller

Silver Spring, Maryland

Juggle the Ropes

Don't look at 'em: Not only was the article "The Juggalos Are Coming!" (December 13) degrading and obscene, but after a couple of phone interviews with the author, Jason Handelsman, I realized there was nothing I could say that would change the article he already had written in his head. At the very least, Handelsman's foul reporting resulted in scores of requests from misguided onlookers to "see our ropes" as our zombie brigade walked down Lincoln Road.

David Tamargo


Unjust Sleeping Quarters

Oh, build 'em a home, where the molesters roam: Regarding "The People Under the Bridge" by Isaiah Thompson (December 13): I live in New Hampshire, and I think it is disgusting to make people live under a bridge. I would think that would be violating their rights. If you feel they should be in a certain place, then your state should build a special housing area for them. What right do you have to make them sleep outside under a bridge? Yes, they made a mistake, but by what I read, some of the charges are ridiculous. I think if they are child molesters, then you need to protect kids. Whoever came up with this idea for them to sleep under a bridge ought to try it. Yes, these people have problems, but I don't think this is a way of resolving it.

Janet Leeds

Via Web commentary


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