Regarding Harvey Silverglate’s Web post “The Artists Are Innocent”: this was not performance art. Berdovsky and Stevens were paid by an advertising firm to put up the signs. This is marketing — “guerrilla” marketing by corporate America attempting to co-opt subversive graffiti culture for its own gain. And, not surprisingly, they got it wrong. If the Phoenix is going to shit all over the official response for being out of touch with pop culture, at least understand the other references at work. While the subject matter was Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the method was all Graffiti Research Lab. Which y’all have probably never even heard of.
Your online editorial “Protesting Too Much” is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. With your, uh, “logic,” do tell us: how were the police to know that all the devices were inert until they were found, examined, and blown up? Perhaps you aren’t very well read: British Muslims planted bombs in ordinary backpacks that blew up trains and passengers in London. Ordinary cell phones were used on trains that killed more than 100 commuters in Spain. Did you forget? You can’t have it both ways. Where was your put-down of British police and MI5 for not examining every backpack in England? Are people so desperate to make money they would cross any line to get attention? It would be no less than justice to arrest and prosecute Turner CEO & bored board members for their greed, avarice, and stupidity.
Silver Lake, California
Protecting the populace from every seemingly unclaimed bit of property is an exercise in futility and only serves to keep society in a heightened state of paranoia. Calling the bomb squad for every forgotten college book bag left behind at a T station or throwie put up on a bridge seems like a bad ’80s sit-com gag that won’t die. Sure, there might be a bomb in that book bag, but there may just as easily be an AK-47 tucked into a baby carriage, or a waistband of dynamite under that guy’s Red Sox jacket. The entire US has PTSD from 9/11, and it’s about as productive for the country as it is for any individual. The entire country needs therapy, and we’re not exactly getting fireside chats from the therapist-in-chief.
Sean FWJ Fowler, Esq.
We didn’t know best
Regarding your editorial on the death of Father Drinan, I worked as Father Drinan’s press secretary in 1970, from April to November. I know who managed Drinan’s first campaign for Congress. It was John Marttila, not John Kerry. Harvard did a case study on that campaign featuring Marttila, not Kerry. Check the clips — that campaign made Marttila famous. As for Kerry persuading Drinan to use “Father Knows Best” as his slogan, that is pure fiction. I don’t know where you got that, but don’t trust that source again. Thirty-six years ago, Drinan’s priesthood was a political liability, especially for the many Catholics who didn’t like the idea of a priest in politics. While he campaigned in Roman collar and black suit (“It’s the only outfit I own,” he used to say), we would never dream of rubbing his calling in the faces of the electorate, Catholic, Jewish, or Protestant. Such a slogan would have been in poor taste and dumb politics. Please check your facts and you will find that you owe your readers, among others, a correction.
In the February 2 TJI item “Mounting A Sermon”, we reprinted a quote by Scientology president David Miscavige stating Tom Cruise is the new “Christ” of the religion. According to the Church of Scientology, “this story has no basis in reality whatsoever.”