“One of the most popular acts at Woodstock in 1969 was Sha Na Na!”

Great Leap Indeed

Re “The Great Commander” by Rupa Shenoy, July 10

Is that a Chairman Mao depiction of Oprah? Looks like it to me. If that’s the case, it is totally inappropriate. Mao killed millions of his own people. Oprah, on the other hand, does her best to help people without controlling them or putting them under duress.


The Newspaper Swindle

Re “Guardianlike?” by Michael Miner, July 10

Look, Zell is running a great swindle here. He puts in a little bit of his money, submerges the ESOP with a huge amount of debt, and then carves away both fat and meat from the Trib with asset sales until only the real estate holdings are left.

He’ll then buy them out of bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar.

The saddest part is that the people who should be uncovering this kind of duplicity are now his employees.


How Old Is Right Now?

Re “Running Out of Retro” by Miles Raymer, July 10

Perfect column this week dealing with the frustrating situation that people seem to constantly want a “retro” revival of everything. This might sound strange coming from the owner of the Hideout. But I have to respond to this situation seemingly every week. I try to explain that we respect the past, but we are of our time, right now. It’s hard for me to explain while Devil in a Woodpile is playing a washboard.

Last night we had Red Red Meat, and we were laughing and joking about this very thing. They got back together to play, like old friends do. No big deal, no attempt to cash in on the 90s nostalgia, or whatever. Sub Pop 20 asked if they would reunite and they just thought, “Why not?” it will be fun.

But your term “reviving revivals” is perfect. That is why I love the term “The Immediate Sound” for our Wednesday night jazz series. It is so disrespectful, in that jazz like all art and music is built on a foundation that took hundreds of years. But it implies that it is right now! We are not trying to be the 1950s, though our nights might feel like that. We are celebrating and supporting constant creation, right now.

Revivals are just another example of the banal hyper-commercialization that we have become since January 20, 1981, when Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president. MTV came about around that time too. Start trends, then revive them, then do it again. And the trend was a retro look anyway.

I always think about how one of the most popular acts at Woodstock in 1969 was Sha Na Na! And I think about how some young “hippies” must have seen the response from the crowd and 11 years later as ad executives with New York marketing companies used that as the impetus for this revival marketing strategy.

Tim Tuten

The Hideout

I’m an aging boomer who was there at Woodstock. Back then I was attracted the to the black turtleneck cool disdain of the beat generation of the slightly older heroes I looked up to. Having lived through “new left radical,” “being natural,” disco, yuppie, punk, goth, grunge, alternative, new age, and “green,” I think we are in permanent retro, stuck forever in an eternal cultural “now” in which we choose our decade persona, and it is Halloween every day.

Robert in Atlantic Beach

An Average Person’s Opinion of an Average Person’s Restaurant

Re “Fantasia vs. Nostalgia” by Mike Sula, July 10

I don’t get the feeling you’re “pulling” for Chef Bowles at all. Your review of Graham Elliot doesn’t seem to match that of the average person (see reviews on yelp.com for an example) or even that of my own experience. I was recently at GE as part of a group of ten people and everyone raved about the food, drinks, and ambiance. Clearly this place doesn’t appear to be your cup of tea, but doesn’t mean it’s not a place to be enjoyed by the masses.

As an aside, I’m rather surprised that a review by the Reader pulled more for a place very few people can ever afford (L2O) vs. that of a place trying to bring the artistry of fine dining to a more approachable and affordable level. Chef Bowles should get credit for not creating another L2O. ... he’s been there and done that. Graham Elliot took a chance and in my opinion has succeeded in delivering something refreshing and different. Needless to say, to each his own.

Charles Moore

Healthy Baby, Healthy Attitude

Re “What Sex Am I?” by Dennis Rodkin, February 2, 2007

I am also the mother of an intersex infant. They are still working on a diagnosis but we are raising our baby as a son (at least so far). He is 46XY, has ambiguous genitalia with a 2.5-cm phallus, vaginal opening but no canal, hypospadius, and no palpable testes. He also has a cervix and fallopian tube. His testosterone level is “robust.” We would love to leave our baby alone and see how he develops and whether or not he would prefer to be a she. Unfortunately, it may not be as simple as that. For some, a decision has to be made in the first few months whether or not to proceed with hormone therapy or else the penis will never be able to function sexually.

We are just so happy that we have a healthy baby. We have decided that we will be open with our child about who he/she is when the time comes. But when is that time?! More counseling, more information, more prayer...

I am so grateful for articles like this and for brave folks like Cynthia who are shining light on this so that other people don’t have to suffer in secrecy.