Letters to the Editor - March 15 2006

Clap Your Hands, Nascar Museum, Art in Freedom Park funding

Applause, please

“They’s gonna clap they hands!”

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is what indie rock is trying to become, and I think they’re on their way to defining it (Vibes, “If you’re happy and you know it,” March 9). Along with Say Hi to Your Mom, they have become something new. And when you attempt something new, it’s a challenge every time.

But as you say, if Clap Your Hands’ self-titled disc is a demo, then it’s the most complete demo I’ve ever heard. And though you may scorn them for having a patched-up sound, it is a misconception to think their sound is not one sound. It is true, complete and something very inspiringly new. Very creative and I think you ought to give these boys a chance. They did sell out a concert.

-- Adante Salvagado, Atlanta


The writer (Fishwrapper, “Why a NASCAR museum?” March 9) is questioning whether big projects really have a lasting multiplier effect — if you throw a big rock in the water, do you not only get the big splash, but also a sustainable bunch of positive economic ripples? This is a critical question when a state or municipality gives a developer tax breaks, fronts taxpayer-financed development money, etc. It just means that you and I and every other taxpayer foot the bill. To even pretend to justify such shifting of costs, our government officials cite the spillover benefits of the development and the dreaded stagnation that will surely result if we don’t foot the bill. As if taxpayers had any real choice.

I do agree that the whole public-private partnership thing to lure supposedly must-have economic porch lights of sports-related or other supposedly civic venues seems like a load of crap. Every state and municipality seems to be convinced that if they don’t shell out for the new arena, museum, hall of shame, etc., they’ll be left on the roadside.

It’s one thing to lure a manufacturing plant or real service-based employment center. Those can conceivably argue to generate ancillary economic activity of suppliers, employment, etc. But to try to justify a sports arena, museum, etc., based on lasting, public economic merit is laughable. I would bet it ends up being just expensive municipal ego stroked by self-serving private parties with only a little bit of additional tourist spending blown all out of proportion by clever, relentless marketers.

I don’t know whether Sugg’s assertion that all the private interests close up shop after the initial tax breaks run out is valid or not.

There’s nothing underhanded that private interests can do that doesn’t get much worse when government power and purse are added to the unholy mix.

-- Christopher Jackson, New York

Everyone’s a loser

Thank you for casting at least a bit of attention on the Art in Freedom Park funding debacle (Arts, “Contemporary taps Horodner,” March 9). The Fulton County Arts Council’s excuse (a new employee sent the letter in error) reeks of a hidden agenda.

What possible justification could they have had for NOT funding AIFP — one of the most successful, most popular, most visible, most cost-efficient public arts events in recent memory? What exactly IS the criteria for getting funds from the Fulton County Arts Council, anyway?

Whatever possible motives the FCAC may have had in denying funds to AIFP, the real losers aren’t just the artists involved, but everyone in Atlanta (a city which, whether they like or not, IS in Fulton County).

-- Allen Welty-Green, Atlanta

My wrong word choice

As a nuclear engineer, whenever I read articles in the press in which some aspect of the technology is explained, I find myself cringing from the start because invariably the author is going to get something wrong. Well, I must now change “invariably” to “usually” because unless I missed something, every detail in your article was exactly right (News & Views, Don’t Panic, Jan. 26). It was a pleasure to read.

And even though I am, generally speaking, a fan of the president and always try to be, as my priest puts it, a “Jesus-lovin’ fool,” I almost lost complete control when I read the “powerful nation led by a beady-eyed religious fanatic” setup and punch line. I didn’t think your previous article on nukes-for-mangos could be topped, but you managed.

-- Andy McGehee, Columbia, S.C.

We were hoppin’

I cannot tell you how pleased we all were to be a Best Bet for the Hans Christian Andersen exhibit at the Cultural Arts Center in Douglasville (See & Do, “Story time,” Jan. 19).

Thank you so much for the mention — let me tell you, we certainly found out how many folks out here read CL and pay attention to your selections! January (usually a slow month) [was] hopping with our galleries filled with visitors from Douglas County and around metro Atlanta.

-- Laura Lieberman, executive director

Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County