Perhaps one of the reasons the listenership of WLRN-FM has gone flat, as Kirk Nielsen reported, is the arrogance of program director Joe Cooper ("Static," May 7). Consider the following: A few years ago the station announced that it was canceling a Sunday-evening program of Fifties and Sixties popular music called Rock and Roll Revisited. I was regular listener. When I called the station Cooper called me back and said the show was being canceled because they were always playing the same numbers over and over again. In fact, they were not.
A little more than a year ago the Sunday-afternoon broadcast of the St. Louis Symphony -- which made up two of the meager twelve hours per week of classical music on the station -- was abruptly replaced by a rebroadcast of the previous evening's A Prairie Home Companion. I used the station's new Website to send a message that I thought the decision "sucked." (PHC is an acquired taste. It can be entertaining, but Garrison Keillor's melodramatic whispering, mediocre singing, and endlessly repeated musical motifs can sometimes be a pain in the butt. And there is no need to run each show twice. Fans can leave their hate calls on my voice mail.)
Cooper fired back an e-mail that began by noting that he was responding only because I had been such a long-time and loyal station member and volunteer (true). Then he informed me that -- and I quote -- "no one listens to the St. Louis Symphony," and added that I must be listening to too much Neil Rogers to use such language. (I don't listen to Neil Rogers, and that term hasn't been considered vulgar since the late Sixties.)
Cooper concluded with a rhetorical question: "Why not run programs that people listen to?" Somehow I took the exception to being considered no one.
I just renewed my membership after a one-year hiatus, but as far as I'm concerned, WLRN-FM is on probation. Listener respect must be earned. You do that by placing listeners first.
La Brasse Sur le Dos, Monsieur
The only good idea in Jen Karetnick's review of La Dorada restaurant ("Broken English," May 7), was the last sentence: "If they ... continue to assume that all their customers speak Spanish, then some customers might make the equally faulty assumption that they've dialed the wrong number and hang up." In other words, let free enterprise take care of the problem.
I'm still waiting for the first review of a French restaurant where the critic complains about the waiter speaking French.
Think. New Times is better than this.
Lesnik: Haunted by a Guilty Conscience
Mike Clary's article about Max Lesnik ("Miami's Man in Havana," April 30) reminded me of my life in Cuba. Back then I was a member of the Ortodoxo party, the most powerful Cuban youth association at that time, which was presided over by Max. Reading the article, I realized why Max talks about Castro the way he does now. I believe he has a guilty conscience. At a time when confrontation with the Batista regime was required, Max was doing nothing but politicking.
He did not lead the party into action. He also allowed the almost unknown Castro to take leadership of the young Ortodoxos from him. Castro then led them to the attack on the Moncada barracks. The rest is history.
Castro got the credit, the publicity, and the power in Cuba, while all Max can do today is provide his interpretation of events -- in Miami.
Lesnik: In Serious Denial
Max Lesnik is a true representative of that misguided revolutionary trend in Cuban politics that even today refuses to admit its monumental share of responsibility for Cuba's present chaotic conditions.
Lesnik: Knows What the Heck He's Talking About
It was refreshing and inspiring to read the article about Max Lesnik. I feel exactly the way Mr. Lesnik does about our country, Cuba, and I'm glad to see I'm not alone.
Being a friend of Castro and others in the governing elite, and traveling to the island often, Mr. Lesnik is far more qualified to talk about the state of the country than those recalcitrant enemies of the revolution and their unquestioning heirs who have failed to keep up with events in Cuba. Then again, they never were very au courant, even when they lived there. After all, the revolution did not happen in a vacuum.
I support Max Lesnik's brave efforts and hope there are many others like him around!
Lesnik: Lucky to Live in the Land of Liberty
Since when has the fact that someone is personable allowed that person to get away with the murder of tens of thousands of human beings? Max Lesnik's adoration of a tyrant with blood on his hands is reprehensible. Maybe he should talk to Magda Montiel Davis about starting a fan club.