Speak Out A 09/13/02

Friday, September 13, 2002

Impact of the arts

AS MARC Strauss wrote in his guest column, the performance arts can be a valuable part of a country's cultural experience. But, I do not agree with his implication that the arts somehow make us better people. After all, the country that gave us Mozart's operas also gave rise to malevolent fascism.

Art's sex appeal

MARC STRAUSS makes several compelling points about the importance of the arts and the success that recent world-class performances have met in Cape Girardeau. But his quip denigrating one of the appeals of mud wrestling -- "Mr. Drury is bizarrely implying that the majority of regional residents prefer to ogle half-naked women in prurient mock-battle undress" -- is misplaced. If Drury was implying that sex appeal is important to popular success in Southeast Missouri (and most anywhere else in the world), then I would agree with Drury. But Strauss should extend his argument. Much better -- more exciting, more alluring -- than any mud wrestling is the meeting of beautiful form not with mud but, instead, with brilliant artistry and inspiring physical prowess upon stage. In short, good art has the best sex appeal.

Market for the arts

CAPE GIRARDEAU residents should be insulted by Jim Drury's recent comments about the River Campus. He said local residents prefer demolition derbies and monster truck shows over arts and culture. He fails to recognize that there is a market for the arts and culture in Cape. Look at the SEMO faculty and students as well as the significant number of doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals here.

Check the churches

TO THOSE who want an immediate and thorough investigation of the state teacher's unions, let's have the same investigation of the local churches who enjoy tax-exempt status while their preachers campaign for and contribute to candidates for public office.

Big college impact

I WANTto reinforce something. I'm a businessman who wouldn't be around except for what college kids spend here. The mall manager says he doesn't take the kids for granted, but I think not everyone is as smart as him. The college has a tremendous impact on not just my business, but the entire community.

Small street crew

I ATTEND the Career and Technology Center. On Sept. 5, when students went outside on our break, we counted how many workers were actually working on the road. All day long there was never more than three people working on the road in front of the high school and Career and Technology Center. I think it's very sad. Whoever is in charge of that needs to be doing something.

IF THERE is no law against blowing piles of grass in the street, please make one. A couple of years ago you never saw this junk. Now this has become a lazy practice. Maybe we can become the City of Grass Blown in the Streets instead of the City of Roses. Besides looking awful, it goes in the storm sewers. Sometimes you feel as though you're in a hay field.

THE SEPT. 11 memorials and tributes have been run into the ground. Enough is enough. It was a tragedy for thousands of people, but it's time to move on. Oklahoma City and our military deaths were tragic too, but they weren't treated this way. The most pathetic sight is the politicians, especially in New York, using this as a political stage for their campaigns.

I KEEP hearing about the foreign leaders who say there is no provocation from Saddam. He has not complied with the 1992 peace accord that he agreed to. I think that's enough provocation. We should have sent armed people to escort the U.N. inspectors. That would have been the thing that would have avoided what is happening now. But we didn't have the guts and the backbone to do that.

Explain the justice

HOW DOES the judicial system work here in Jackson? How does one go totally free and others do time for the same thing? Is it who you know or how much money you have, is the judge having a bad day or is something wrong with the prosecuting attorney?

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