Letters from the Issue of October 31, 2002
Sorry, but the truth is yes -- in your neighborhood: As a Hispanic, my attention was drawn to Humberto Guida's article "The Preppie Pot Papers" (October 24) because Cubans were named as dope dealers. I wanted to read what this Humberto Guida had to say.I attended a private school and saw how upper-middle-class guys got into dealing drugs. It isn't out of the ordinary to see this in any number of hangout places. Maybe police want to be blinded and not enforce the law in Miami's "good" neighborhoods because rich kids don't fit the image of drug dealers. Instead they go after stereotypical drug dealers in areas like Hialeah, Little Havana, Liberty City, and Little Managua, which are known by police to be centers of drug dealers.
We might be blinded to the truth, but every day more and more kids are getting involved in the risky business of drugs. By reporting the dramatic truth, Humberto Guida has taken off the blindfolds for Miami-Dade's upper middle class.
I followed the straight and narrow, and now I'm paying the price: Who's the stupid one? Humberto Guida's article on juvenile drug dealers put life into perspective for me. I've always been one to do my best in school, taking the hardest courses, joining the honor society, and often sacrificing parties, relationships, popularity, and extracurricular activities in order to get good grades.Not only did I study hard in high school and college, but I worked long hours, nights and weekends, hoping and praying I'd be worthy of a promotion -- or at least able to keep my job with its measly pay and poor benefits.
After college, ten years of experience, and countless thousands of hours of personal time sacrificed out of loyalty to "the corporation," I found myself unemployed thanks to the information-technology bust.
What I would give to have the hours and pay the dealer "Razzmatazz" enjoys. Prick.
We all have a "Razzmatazz" in our past: Wow, I was really impressed by how on-point Humberto Guida was in "The Preppie Pot Papers." We all have our own version of "Razz," and at the same time we're familiar with the "Razz" of this story. I also want to add that not only did the article have real appeal, it included interesting statistics and everyday facts of events past and present. As a member of the graduating class of 1997 (not Belén, obviously; I'm a chick), I want to congratulate Humberto on an article well written and, best of all, worth reading all the way through.
But ended up quite amused: I began reading "The Preppie Pot Papers" wanting to hate both the story and the writer because the subheadline mentioned "Cuban" dope dealers: "J. Crew models? Or young Cuban dope dealers?" (I'm Cuban.) But the more I read, the more I found myself getting into the story and realizing that the writer not only told the truth but did so in a funny and interesting way. I hope to see more articles from Humberto Guida.
Annette Y. Torres
Some of those guys were recognizable: I was getting coffee on my way to work this morning and saw Humberto Guida's article "The Preppie Pot Papers." It was great! I don't know how he managed to depict everything so clearly (at least how I remember it from high school) and yet keep some sort of anonymity for the people involved -- although some of those people seem pretty familiar.
Surely this was a joke newcomers just didn't get: Congratulations to Brett Sokol and "Kulchur" for making reference to WLRN-FM's "mind-numbing talk-show host Joseph Cooper" ("Kafka in a Guayabera," September 19). Being new to the area but a devoted public-radio listener, I thought I was in a time warp or something. Was I the only person who could hear how boring Cooper is? Now I know I'm not alone.Has WLRN's station manager had his brain's synapses scorched and therefore can't hear how boring Cooper is? Or does he simply avoid the issue by going to lunch when Cooper is on the air?
We in the theater know the value of mutual aid: While I was on vacation, Ronald Mangravite's article "Critic's Notebook" was published by New Times (August 8). I know it's been more than two months, but having just found this article on your Website (and in response to the author's call for feedback), here are a couple of thoughts.Ron is partially right about a lot of things he says, totally right about a few of them, and dead wrong about a couple. It would take a letter the length of his article for me to provide more specifics, but two things: New Theatre, the company my wife and I founded in 1986 and which has just entered its seventeenth season, is alive and well, along with quite a few other theaters that were around back in 1986. It has been a bumpy road these few years: funding cutbacks, imbeciles posing as theater critics, fickle audiences, audience dumbing-down, audience attrition, bad economy, talent drain, Hurricane Andrew -- the works.
But as the Sondheim lyric goes (in paraphrase): "We're still here," meaner and leaner after 9/11 and a lousy economy. But here. Partly, I think, because we and our colleagues at Actors' Playhouse, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Florida Stage, the Caldwell, and so many others who were around sixteen years ago and will be around (I'll bet) sixteen years from now, have been cooperating with us and each other thanks to their expansive vision and thanks to the efforts of the Theatre League of South Florida.
Perhaps by oversight rather than by implication, Ron conveys a sense in his article that we producers are deep inside our little bunkers ready to take shots at our fellow theaters. The truth is, I am right now doing a show in which the set was built at the Coconut Grove Playhouse shop, the costume designer is the resident at Caldwell and at Hollywood Playhouse and has loaned us a few items from their costume shops, and the lighting designer shuttles back and forth between us and the Miami Light Project.
Our actors work all over the map and often I have to check with Joe Adler at GableStage or David Arisco at Actors' Playhouse for a casting idea or two. Oh, and just check with the Theatre League of South Florida's Andy Rogow and he'll give you the lowdown on what we all are doing in terms of cooperative marketing.
This year I have been to see three shows at GableStage, two at Actors', two at Hollywood Playhouse, two at Dreamer's, and two at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. I wish I could have been to more but if I'm not in rehearsals I am at our performances five days a week, week after week.
We have been a home to guest directors year after year for sixteen seasons, often taking a chance on totally untested ones, sometimes with great results, sometimes not. This I say not to blow our horn (which actually I don't mind doing at all) but to set the record straight as regards one or two thoughts of Ron's in "Critic's Notebook."
By and large, though, I want to remind New Times what a great job it is doing in its coverage of the arts in Miami. And Ron Mangravite -- what a superb writer and champion for the theater he is.
Rafael de Acha, artistic director
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