Letters to the Editor - I get it August 05 2004

What's fugly is that mutant bunny rabbit on the cover ("That's fugly," July 29). Are those "man boobs"? Is it wearing a dress or did it escape from the dead alive with its little legs gnawed down to bloody stumps? Is this the return of Donnie Darko?

OH-H-H, IT'S ART! NOW I see, like the rest of the article, it just depends on your point of view.

-- Laurie Powell, Roswell

br>?Living up to our reputation
Fabulous! It's about time someone said something (and put it in print!) ("That's fugly," July 29). It's been bugging me forever now, how Atlanta isn't improving in the way it "looks." So much construction, so much growth and it's just an ugly, ugly city.

I have to say, I do love the feeling that the 14th Street/Peachtree area is getting with the towers going up. Gives that spot of town a "city" feel. But that's about it.

If you go just north a few blocks, there are all those horrible "glass" buildings (the new Equifax building is pretty, but it's different). What were they thinking? Atlanta has a reputation for its cheap-looking glass buildings — and they keep building them! Can't they look at just one of them and think? THEY'RE UGLY!

And don't get me started with some of the "so-called" art that is sprinkled around the city. Most of it looks like something less than a kindergarten class might have come up with. It's basically shit!

-- Robert York, Pine Mountain

br>?In the eye of the beholder
I, too, read the story where Martha Schwartz, distinguished landscape designer, declared Atlanta the least attractive city in America ("That's fugly," July 29). Frankly, I feel she doesn't know Atlanta very well and might even be aesthetically impaired.

After spending a week in Manhattan this summer, I was quite surprised by how happy I was to return to my intown neighborhood of lovely old houses, intimate gardens, sidewalks, parks that I can walk to, and majestic trees. As far as the places in your "That's fugly" article, only half are in the Atlanta city limits. The rest are in sprawland, which is to be found in any city.

By the way, I also love the Sol LeWitt piece. I guess we all can find beauty in our own way.

-- Rocio Rodriguez, Atlanta

Thanks for the article about Eddie Crawford's case as it relates to DNA testing (News & Views, "DNA debacle," July 22). I was stunned that the appeals were denied. There was so much to be gained. Even if the credibility of the justice system in Georgia was the only plus, that would've been a large one. The best-case scenario might have been the sparing of a life.

-- Melanie Malovany, Dahlonega

br>?Keep dreamin'
I enjoyed your article about Israel, both the tone and the content ("Weeping wall," July 22). It is rare to read an article about Israel that is not shrill and that doesn't demonize the Israelis as imperialist pigs.

Your article shows that no one in this hideous conflict wins. There is pain and suffering on both sides. Israelis live under siege but so do the Palestinians who have opted to choose conflict over resolution.

Peace will prevail when this generation of leaders dies. Arafat has been both the best thing and the worst thing to happen to the Palestinians.

The best because he turned a nonexisting nationality into a cause celebré that everybody recognizes; the worse because he successfully turned this once-proud people into victims in the eyes of the world. In the process, he elevated himself to the status of martyr — which is what he craves most. There are Palestinians who want peace but as long as Arafat lives, peace will remain as elusive as a dream.

-- Monique Dadon Williams, Alpharetta

br>?It's wrong
The very sad truth is that the wall is NOT justifiable, not in the West Bank nor within Israel ("Weeping wall," July 22). The International Court of Justice wrote clearly and almost unanimously for the vast majority of world opinion that not only is the wall wrong, so too is the occupation. Both must fall.

As a legal opinion, the ICJ was correct in asserting that a barrier within Israel is acceptable. However, this necessarily limited judicial opinion does not address the fact that Israel would not ever build the barrier on the Green Line (but for a few logistical miles) as that would defeat its purpose. The problem is that while the wall may keep would-be suicide bombers out of Israel, it does not keep Israeli troops and settlers out of Palestine. For Israel to have built the wall along the Green Line would have reinforced the notion that the West Bank belongs to Palestine. As Israel means to annex Palestine and strangle that society into extinction, the wall had to be built within the West Bank in order to further this goal.

The ICJ is certainly legally correct but only half-right. The wall is wrong wherever it is built. The occupation is wrong. Israel cannot have the remaining 22 percent of historical Palestine and ethnically cleanse its people. To discuss this in any other terms is to merely rearrange the deck chairs.

-- Barry Flanagan, Tucker

br>?My opinion
Felicia Feaster's commentary on big group shows, "Super-Size It" (Arts, For Art's Sake, July 22), made me realize that writing an art review is a game; a chance for a reporter and art critic to exercise creative writing skills but not necessarily tell the whole story.

Feaster has served up a big helping of reasons why the large group art show can sometimes make her "head spin." I realize this is her opinion, but why is a smaller, focused show better? Is this skinny, intellectual viewpoint correct? Sometimes it is, but it certainly is not the case for the Spruill show Reading Between the Lanes, or for last year's anti-war Emergency Room show. The latter may have been quickly organized, but it was not "poorly thought out, sloppy work." It was a mixed bag of styles in progressive stages of development, answering a need for grassroots expression of shock and anger at the war in Iraq. The performances on opening night were especially gutsy. Unfortunately, Feaster does not usually attend opening receptions. This ensures she will not interact with the artistic community and will probably miss the performance aspects of a show.

It's not that hard to focus on different artworks in a group show and I don't believe that "good work necessarily gets lost in the fracas." I usually find the stronger pieces stand out.

Reviewing a large exhibit may take more time. There may not be one handy "hook" to describe the whole thing. The big, fat, group show is energizing, not "aggravating." In the busy world of news-paper deadlines, "behemoth" art shows might just be an overwhelming challenge to write about.

-- Cecelia Kane, Atlanta

Editor's note: Felicia Feaster did attend the opening reception for Emergency Room: Artists Respond to War.